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Heritage Register
Rockland

1524 Shasta Place

Built 1923; 1927; 1929
Heritage-Designated 2000

For: Helen Nation; Helen & Robert Ker

Architect: Percy Leonard James
Contractor: Eli Hume (1927; 1929)

1524 Shasta

ARCHITECTURE:

This asymetrical, two-storey, stuccoed house, with its complex bellcast hipped roof, is British Arts & Crafts style as influenced by Georgian Revival. There is a small eyebrow dormer on the front, and two odd-sized, flat-roofed dormers on the rear. The jerkin-head-gabled front bay has a large leaded window to the left of the main entrance; the vestigial porch has a small bracketed canopy with wrought iron braces above. The wall chimney on the right front separates two small arched windows in a hip-roofed box bay. On the right side of the house is a large, cantilevered, angled oriel bay. On the left side is a ridged breezeway giving access to the jerkin-head-gabled garage, built in 1927 for $1,450. The garden façade at the rear, facing a balustraded terrace, has a deep belt course separating the two floors; it has a shallow entry box bay and an angled bay. The 1923 house cost $12,126. In 1929 P.L. James added a library and sunroom with two bedrooms above for $10,000.

ORIGINAL OCCUPANTS:

Helen Maud Nation (b. Brandon, MB 1891-1971) was the daughter of Frederick and Abigail Nation (1320 Rockland Av). Her father commissioned the house as a wedding gift when she married Robert Henry Brackman Ker (b. Victoria 1895- 1976). Helen and Robert lived here until 1953 then moved to their summer estate on Arbutus Cove in Saanich, where the original cottage and other buildings were also designed by P.L. James.

Robert was the son of David Russell Ker and Laura Agnes (née Heisterman, 1521 Shasta Pl) and the grandson of Robert Ker, who arrived in Victoria in the 1850s. Robert was educated at University School in Saanich, and Haileybury College in England. He was a member of the 50th Gordon Highlanders, and served overseas in WWI with the 48th Battalion, CEF. In 1915 he joined the Royal Flying Corps and became a major. After the war, Robert went into insurance and real estate. He was a director, then president of family companies involving flour milling (Brackman-Ker Mill), breweries and oil. He was a director of BC Power Corp, BC Electric, Montreal Trust Co and others. Robert was Victoria’s youngest alderman in 1923- 24, and served 11 years. A philanthropist and patron of the arts, his many gifts to groups such as the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria earned him the Order of Canada in 1974.

OTHER OCCUPANTS:

Henry Carter (1895-1975) and Marion (née Cummings) lived here from 1954 until the 1960s. Henry and his brother Gerald ran Individual Dry Cleaners.

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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