Heritage Register
Victoria West

322 Edward Street

Built c.1892

For: Minnie & Capt. Victor Jacobson

Builder: attributed to Capt. Victor Jacobson

322 Edward


A Victorian Vernacular 1½-storey, steeply-pitched, front-gabled house. There is a gable-roofed porch on the left and an angled bay on the right. The left side has a shed-roofed dormer, while the right side has a central angled bay with a tiny balcony above, under a gabled through-the-roof wall dormer. With City approval, the back of the house has been extended, and now includes a recessed corner back porch. The house is clad in drop siding with cedar shingles in the upper gables and on the basement walls. The original one-over-one double-hung wooden sash with horns have been replaced with vinyl windows. The chimney and fire escape ladder were removed in 2004 when the house was renovated. It was duplexed in 1952 for Mrs. P. Preston for $600.


1892-93: Master mariner Capt. Victor Jacobson (b. Jakobstad, Finland, of Swedish parents, 1852-1949) and Mary Ann “Minnie” (née McLean, b. Oakridge, ON, 1871-1943) married in Victoria in 1888. Mrs. Elisa Jacobson, likely Victor’s mother, lived with them. Victor apprenticed at 13 as a carpenter, then shipped out of Finland as a cook’s helper. He later signed on to the City of Quebec and sailed around the Horn to Victoria, landing here in 1881. He first worked in Goodacre’s slaughter house, Steven’s farm at Cedar Hill, and drove Thomas Earle’s hack. Victor then joined the schooner Mary Ellen at Enterprise Wharf under Capt. William Spring as cook for $90 a month plus board. Victor later bought the ship and when he and Minnie married, he owned a fleet of sealing and trading vessels. In 1893 he began building their Mansard-roofed home at 507 Head St in Esquimalt. Minnie’s father John McLean, a blacksmith, did the iron work on the house. From his third-floor tower windows Capt Jacobson could watch for his fleet coming back to harbour. However, he preferred to live on the water. From c.1912-30, they lived on board the Alexander Watson-designed Distributor, which was tied up in front of the ‘big house’ as they called 507, until the ship was condemned. They then lived in 499 Head St, the sail loft which was built out over the water, until Minnie’s death. In later years Victor restored the Tilikum, the small dugout canoe revamped as a sailboat in which Capt. John Claus Voss had sailed around the world in 1901-04.


1893-1906: Master mariner Capt. Otto Bucholz (b. Swinemunde, GER, c.1864-1935) and Nellie Campbell (née Stratford, b. CA, c.1876). By 1908 Otto and Nellie, too, had moved to Head St in Esquimalt, and Otto was the pilot of the SS Haldis. They lived in Quatsino, BC, when Otto died.

1912-31: Edward G. Plowright (b. Lincs, ENG, 1874-1963) and Eliza (née Shaw, b. Ontario, 1873-1921) came to Victoria in 1908. Edward was an engineer, in refrigeration with B. Wilson Co. Ltd, then chief engineer with Victoria Phoenix Brewery for 15 years. Finally he worked with Moore-Whittington Lumber Co for eight years until his retirement in 1944. Edward married Georgina Martha Shepherd (b. ENG, 1896-1972) after Eliza’s death.

1933-41: The office of Veteran Window Cleaners and home of proprietor Roy Ronald Banister (b. Essex, ENG, 1891-1956), Jessie (née MacLeod), and their daughter Ruby L, a maid with D. Johnson. Roy and Jessie married in July 1915 and came to Victoria c.1926. Roy was a janitor at Royal Roads Military Academy in Colwood for 11 years, until the day before his death.

1942: David and Gertrude Maude Gregory-Smith; David was a widower when they married in Victoria in 1929.
1943-46: HMC Dockyard shipwright Joseph Robert and Emily Ethel Bradley. Joseph later worked as a carpenter in building construction. 1947-51: Frank Adolph and Elizabeth Catherine Liebel. Frank was a stockpicker at Mohawk Handle, and later worked as a government janitor.


• Vic West History

• Vic West Heritage Register

• This Old House, Victoria's Heritage Neighbourhoods,
Volume One: Fernwood & Victoria West

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