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Heritage Register
Rockland

1521 Shasta Place

Built 1911-12
Heritage-Designated 1987

For: Laura Heisterman

Architect: Edward Stanley Mitton

1521 Shasta

ARCHITECTURE:

The original drawings of this British Arts & Crafts-style house show a charming 2½-storey cottage with proto-Storybook Style elements; it came out of movie-mad California in the 1920s. The asymmetrical design has a deep side-ridged, hipped roof with large eyebrow dormers front and back, and two wings at the front, both with jettied upper storeys on chunky flat brackets, the left shorter-but-deeper wing with half-timbering and originally an open sleeping porch over the five 8-light windows on the main floor. However, one of its most whimsical elements, a curving roof over the sleeping porch, was possibly never built. The roof was meant to have softly rolled edges and exaggerated ridgecaps on the top ridges, in imitation of a thatched roof. The eyebrow dormers, originally with five small-paned casement windows, folded gently into the roof; with new glass and sheet metal roofs, they sit baldly on top of the new horizontally-ridged metal roof. The windows, originally almost all 6-light wooden casements, have recently been replaced with double-glazing with plastic muntin bars, generally with too many divisions. A narrow slit at the top of the front gable has been replaced with a square window. Other design items possibly not built were cottage shutters on many of the windows, an asymmetrically-placed wrought iron stay in the front gable, and brick window sills, all of which would have added to the Storybook aesthetic. The original cladding was a soft-coloured rough pebble-dash stucco, as seen in the early photo of Shasta Pl. The house retains its stone wall and gateposts, and wrought iron gate.

Mitton emigrated from England to Toronto in 1907, and opened offices in Vancouver in 1908, Victoria in 1911. This is the second house he designed for the Heistermans: 1616 Belmont Av in 1908 was for Laura’s second son, Henry George S. Heisterman. He also did 1 Cook St (Fairfield) in 1912 with H.T. Whitehead and 2024 Belmont Av (Fernwood) in 1913, as well as several other buildings. None of his other local designs exhibit the Storybook style like 1521 Shasta.

ORIGINAL OCCUPANTS:

This house was built for Laura Adams (Haynes, 1842-1938), widow of Charles Henry Frederick Heisterman (1832-1896). Charles, born in Bremen, Germany, came to BC in 1862. In the 1860s political debates, he supported annexation of BC by the US. Charles was in real estate and was the local representative of Mutual Life Insurance Co of New York.

Laura was born in Dedham, ME, and came to BC in 1862 with her brother, George Washington Haynes, superintendent of the Moodyville sawmill. Laura was the first teacher there, with 13 pupils in a 1-room schoolhouse until 1872, when education superintendent John Jessop decreed that all teachers must be British subjects, and Laura was forced to resign. Moving to Victoria, she met Charles, married him in 1873, and they had seven children. One daughter, Laura Agnes, married David Russell Ker, manager of Brackman & Ker Milling Co. Their son Robert Ker moved into a new house at 1524 Shasta Pl in 1923.

The original Heisterman home was at Hillside Av and Douglas St. The family remained there until 1910, when Laura had architect John R. Wilson design 1521 Elford. In 1912, she moved to 1521 Shasta. Daughter Olive Irene (1884-1961) remained as her mother’s companion, but left the house after Laura died. Laura’s granddaughter Inez (Ker) and her husband James C. Hibbard, a lieutenant, then captain, in the RCN, lived here in 1939 and again in the late-1940s. They married in Victoria in 1933.

OTHER OCCUPANTS:

By 1943, retirees Charles Robert (1884-1961) and Clyna Elizabeth (Hogg, 1888-1962) Muttlebury moved in. Clyna, was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, came to Canada in 1912 and married in 1914 in Winnipeg, where Charles was born. They came to Victoria in 1932, and lived at 1470 Rockland Av in the mid-1930s.

Royal Jubilee Hospital administrator George and Phyllis Masters lived here in 1951. From 1952-64, Andrew (1886-1978) and Violet Louise (Cameron, 1891-1970) Milligan were the occupants. The Milligans came to BC from Winnipeg in 1949, when Andrew retired as regional manager of the Canadian Bank of Commerce.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION & IMAGES:

• Map of Victoria's Heritage Register Properties

• Rockland History

• Rockland Heritage Register

• Hallmark Heritage Society Archives

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


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