Heritage Register

528 St. Charles Street
(ex-424, 428 St. Charles St)
Belvedere Cottage; Olinda

Built 1912
Heritage-Designated including interiors 2003

For: William Thwaites Williams

Architect: H. Crawford Coates Jr.

528 St Charles


This two-storey, side-gabled Gambrel-roofed house, rare in Victoria, has an unusual front gambrel gable on its symmetrical façade. The front gable has a semicircular window above three six-light windows. There are two shingled, shed-roofed dormers with shingled balconies on either side of the front gable. Both balconies sit on the verandah roof. The roofline of the verandah continues around the sides as a belt course. The full-width verandah has six heavy Tuscan columns and an almost- Eastlake-style balustrade. There are stepped balustrades on either side of the wide front stairs which lead up to the Colonial Revival-style doorway with fanlight and sidelights. Two full-height brick chimneys are located on the left and right sides of the house. The house is clad in shingles.

In 1955 it changed from 428 to 528 St. Charles St.


1912-24: William Thwaites Williams (b.Leeds, Yorkshire, ENG 1867-1931) and Jean Schoff MacKay (née Orr, b. Battleford, SK 1886-1923) married in 1912 in Duncan. Billy was the son of Benjamin (1828-1884) and Elizabeth Williams (1832-1892; she was the sister of David Spencer, 1040 Moss St, Rockland). The Williams came to Canada in 1872 and Victoria in 1880. From c.1882 to 1910 Benjamin and then Billy ran B. Williams & Co, “Gents’ Furnishings” & “Clothiers, Hatters and General Outfitters;” for several years they outfitted goldseekers for the Klondike. Before St. Charles, Billy lived at 10 Bellot St (now Burdett) with siblings Benjamin, a realtor, Mary, a teacher, and Alice, a nurse: in 1912, Billy built 1377 Rockland Av for his sisters. By 1912 he was president of City Land Co, and by 1917 was the manufacturer of NAG paint, stain and varnish. He was a longtime member of Victoria Golf Club, and of Arion Male Voice Choir.

Jean came to Victoria at the age of 19, studied nursing at Royal Jubilee Hospital, and became head operating nurse. After her death, Billy remarried in 1924, to Hilda Edith L. Johnson (1877-1959), and moved to 1346 Harrison St. When he died, Billy’s pallbearers were prominent Victoria businessmen: his cousins Chris Spencer and John W. Spencer (1045 Joan Cr, Rockland), and furniture retailer Frank J. Sehl, a fellow bass with the Arion Choir.


1925-36: Laura Martin Fraser (née Clinton, b. San Francisco 1873-1958), widow of Bank of Montreal manager James Sutherland Chisholm Fraser (1863-1914, 1715 Rockland Av). The Frasers were married in New Westminster in 1903 and moved from Rossland to Victoria in 1912. When she died, Laura was living at Mount St. Mary, 999 Burdett Av, Fairfield: the wall is Heritage-Designated.

1937-38: Hine and Helena Holstein-Rathlou, and their offspring Emil, Hilda and Rudolph.

1939: Lt. Cmdr. Maurice Adrian Wood, RCN (b. Duncan, BC 1898-1971), and his wife Mabel Richmond (née Cotton, b. USA c.1903) married in Victoria in 1926. Maurice spent 30 years in the navy, retiring in 1946.

1940-44: Retired CPR conductor William John Nelson (b. Toronto 1866- 1942) and Annie McDiarmid (née Hall, b. Louisville, KY 1885-1975).

1947-49: Chartered accountant Cecil Warren Nicholl (b. Belfast, IRL 1896-1959) and Marian (née Florentino).

1950-51: Mrs. C. Stuart-Morgan.

1952-64: Retired farmers Max Enke (b. Manchester, ENG 1884- 1971) and Marion (née Lejeune, b. Manchester, ENG 1879-1961) came to Canada in 1907, Victoria in 1913.

In the 1970s this was the Olinda Nursery School.


• 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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