Heritage Register
Victoria West

938 Fullerton Avenue

Built 1912
Heritage-Designated 2002

For: Joseph Redding

938 Fullerton


This is a front-gabled, one-storey Craftsman bungalow, with the characteristic low-pitched roof, exposed rafter-tails and triangular knee brackets under the eaves in the gables. It has a shingled exterior now covered with Kenitex. The front-gabled porch is supported by heavy square pillars on shingled piers. There is a closed front stairwell with a low, sloped, shingled balustrade. It has a box bay on the left side. The home’s interior was modified considerably over the years. In 1994 it was purchased by Laurie and Gary Darrah. Their work in producing an up-to-date remodelling of an Arts & Crafts kitchen won them an award from Canadian House & Home magazine in 2002.


: Joseph Thomas Redding (b. Berkhamstead, Herts, ENG, 1859-1943) began construction in 1912 on this bungalow, along with 940 Fullerton and 620 Raynor Av. It was in a subdivision developed by Thomas Shanks McPherson and the Fullerton Brothers. This section of Raynor, west of Craigflower, was originally called McPherson Av. McPherson left part of his fortune acquired in the development of Victoria for restoration of the theatre (#3 Centennial Sq) near City Hall and for a library at the University of Victoria.

In 1901 Redding was a grocer living at the corner of Catherine and Skinner Sts, Vic West. He emigrated to Canada in 1881, as did dressmaker Katherine “Hope” Gabriel (b. Manchester, ENG) whom he married in 1893. In 1907 architects Thomas D. Sedger and Guy Pownall designed a large house for the Reddings at 822 Catherine St. By 1912 Redding was dabbling in real estate, from a home office.


: William Herbert and Jennie Irene Wensley married in Nanaimo in 1912. William’s parents, blacksmith William and Corinna came to Canada in 1887, Victoria by 1891 and lived for decades in Victoria West and Esquimalt. Jennie’s Scottish-born parents, coal miner James and Janet Crossan, lived in Nanaimo from at least 1881. William was an E&N fireman, locomotive engineer between Victoria and Ladysmith, and a yard man in Ladysmith. An accomplished athlete, he played on a number of teams, in particular the CPR soccer team. He was also a fine tenor. The Wensleys then lived around the corner at 623 Raynor until William’s death in 1934. Jennie returned to Nanaimo and became a ship’s “stewardest” until she died.

1913-29: John Sigfried Anderson (b. Smaland, Sweden, 1871-1964) and Lydia (née Eriksson, b. Värmland, Sweden, 1878-1977) met in Albert Canyon, BC, and married in Revelstoke in 1903. John was a CPR track foreman or road master in Revelstoke by 1905. He was one of only two survivors of the devastating avalanche at the Rogers Pass summit in March 1910 which smothered 58 of his crew. It was Canada’s most deadly snow avalanche. In the 1930s the CPR transferred John to Parksville for some years.

1933-36: John William and Elizabeth Rose married in Victoria in 1918. John was an RCN ship’s steward on the HMCS Rainbow and became a CPO before retiring in 1945 after 26 years.

1937-70: John and Lydia Anderson (see above) retired back to Victoria. Their five daughters: Lilian Victoria (b. Revelstoke, 1903-1998) married Frederick Sidney “Sid” Williams in 1933. [Note: The Sid Williams Theatre in Courtenay, BC, is named for his outstanding contributions to community, theatre and laughter. As “Century Sam” he toured BC in 1958 and Canada in 1967 for the Centennials.] Ethel Alida (1905-1969) married Thomas Harold Pendygrasse in 1934. Mabel Elvira (1908-2003) married William Henry James in 1932. Helen Catherine (1918-1997) married Raymond Allan Blackman in 1952. Jean Vivian (1921-1973) married Charles Alfred Samuel Goodwin in 1945. [Jean’s and Charles’ daughter Julie Lawson is a well-known author of children’s books.]


• Vic West History

• Vic West Heritage Register

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

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