Heritage Register

1759 Rockland Avenue (ex-72 Rockland Av)
Edgehill; Rosedene

Built 1897; 1914; 1926-27
Heritage-Designated 1988

For: James & Edgar Dewdney; Frederick & Mary Jones; Walter & Quita Nichol

Architects: John Gerhard Tiarks (1897);
Butler & Harrison (1914) Samuel Maclure (1926-27)
Contractors: Robert Knott & Harry Jones (1926-27)

1759 Rockland


This British Arts & Crafts house, as originally designed by J.G. Tiarks, now has Tudor Revival A&C additions by Butler and Harrison, and later “motor porch” and verandahs by Maclure. The multi-hipped roof has later gabled extensions. The main façade is at right angles to Rockland. The verandahs and porte-cochère are supported by square timber posts with long brackets and square balusters. The front and rear gables are stuccoed and halftimbered. The front gable has prominent windows with multi-paned leaded lights. Other windows are multi-paned in various combinations. The tall chimneys are stuccoed with contrasting brick caps and grey chimney pots. A flat-roofed extension on the left side forms a balcony for the second floor. The 1914 additions cost $15,000. The porte- cochère, verandahs, circular drive and rustic stone retaining wall capped by sandstone slabs were added in 1926-27.


1897-1906: Jane Shaw (née Moir b. Sri Lanka, 1842- 1906) and The Hon. Edgar Dewdney (b. Devon, ENG 1835- 1916) married in 1864. Jane’s family were tea plantation owners who settled near Hope, BC, in the 1860s. Edgar, a civil engineer, came to BC in 1859 to lead the survey of New Westminster townsite. In 1860 he built a road from Hope to Wild Horse Creek, still known as the “Dewdney Trail.” In 1868 Edgar represented the Kootenay region in the Legislative Council. From 1871-79 he represented Yale in the House of Commons, becoming Indian Affairs commissioner in 1878. From 1881-88 Dewdney was Lt.-Gov. of the North- West Territories (since 1905, the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan). He returned to the House of Commons as Minister of the Interior and Supt. Gen. of Indian Affairs. He was Lt.-Gov. of BC from 1892-97. After leaving Cary Castle (1401 Rockland Av), the Dewdneys lived here until Jane’s death. Edgar left politics after running unsuccessfully in New Westminster in 1900, and returned to Victoria as a mining broker and financial agent. He remarried in 1909, to Blanche, the daughter of Col Charles John Kemeys-Tynte of Somerset, ENG. They lived in Cadboro Bay.


1906-20: Frederick W. and Mary Jones called the house Edgehill, made major additions in 1914, sold it for $60,000 in August 1920, and moved to 1630 Rockland Av.

1920-24: Dr. Eugene Fuller (b. Massachusetts c.1859- 1930) and Margaret Elizabeth (née McTavish, b. New York c.1860-1953) named the house Rosedene. Margaret was the daughter of Duncan Archibald McTavish, manager of the Bank of British North America. Her brother George Archibald McTavish married Catherine Amelia Helmcken, daughter of Dr. John and Cecilia Helmcken (638 Elliot St, James Bay), and granddaughter of Sir James and Lady Amelia Douglas. Eugene and Margaret married in Victoria in 1890. Eugene practised medicine in New York, retired to Victoria, then moved to Seattle.

1927-44: The Hon. Walter Cameron Nichol (b. Goderich, ON, 1866-1928) and Quita Josephine March (née Moore, b. London, ON 1875-1968) married in 1897 and came to BC. From 1888-95 Walter ran the Hamilton Herald and The News in London, ON. He did some mining, then came to Victoria as editor of The Weekly Province; he and Hewitt Bostock (1322 Rockland Av) transferred it to Vancouver the next year, as the Vancouver Daily Province. After the death of Col. E.G. Prior (729 Pemberton Rd & 620 St. Charles St, Rockland) in 1920, Walter became Lt.-Gov. of BC until 1926. He was the first to visit isolated West Coast aboriginal villages. He retired after selling his interest in the Province to Southam Newspapers of Canada. Walter died a month after moving into the house, but Quita remained until 1944, then moved to 914 St. Charles St.

1945-46: Royal Bank of Canada manager Earl George MacMinn (b. Chester, NS 1890-1949) and Ethel “Hope” (née Atwater, b. Boston, MA 1894-1982) (1648 Rockland Av). Earl drowned while rowing a skiff on Somenos Lake, Vancouver Island.

1947-48: Bank of Montreal manager Osmond Matson (b. Piddington, ENG 1893-1968) and Doreen Mary (née Jefferson, b. London, ENG 1903-1978) married in Vancouver in 1930.

1949-50: 1759 Rockland was converted to seven apartments by auto repairman Victor M. Clarke, who lived in #3 with his wife Elizabeth.


• Map of Victoria's Heritage Register Properties

• Rockland History

• Rockland Heritage Register

• This Old House, Victoria's Heritage Neighbourhoods,
Volume Three: Rockland, Burnside, Harris Green,
Hillside-Quadra, North Park & Oaklands

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