Heritage Register
Victoria West

515 Springfield Street

Built 1907

For: James Fairall; James Leigh & Sons

Builders: attributed to James Leigh & Sons

515 Springfield


This is a 1½-storey Edwardian Vernacular Arts & Crafts house, a type that was immensely popular in Victoria in the decade before WWI. It is cross-gabled with a very prominent and symmetrical pedimented front gable. There are three multi-light windows in the gable. The upper and lower front storeys are separated by a pent roof. The asymmetrical main floor has a square box bay on the left, an inset porch on the right, and an unusual set of three offset windows in between. There originally was a blind Palladian sunburst above the middle window. The verandah has four Classical Revival porch columns with convex curves (entasis) which sit on piers clad in double-bevelled siding. The stair balustrades are stepped, and clad in double-bevelled siding on the outside and V-joint T&G on the inside. There is a full height shallow bay below the left gabled dormer. The top of the gables are shingled above stucco and half-timbering, with double-bevelled siding on the main body. The house has two entrances, the second one off Russell St where the small carriage house, now a garage, is located.

The house was originally owned by two different builders, James Fairall (505-507 Springfield St), according to assessments, and James Leigh & Sons of Point Ellice Saw Mills (303 Mary St, Vic West). The Leighs took out the plumbing permit.


1908: Assessments were paid by Charlotte Kirkpatrick Lindsay and Reginald Ernest Claude Hooper, who married in Victoria in 1897. They rented it to Florence Howell, widow of Horace, who ran it as a rooming house
1910-14: Blacksmith and carpenter Frank and Mary Jane Morrison, owners and residents, came from Ontario in 1910.

1915-18: BCER car repairer Frederick James Peatt (b. Sandwich Islands/Hawaii, 1859-1935) and Annie Mary (née Muir, b. Sooke 1865-1929) married in Sooke in 1886. Fred came to Canada in 1860. [Note: Annie’s grandparents John and Ann Muir sailed with their five offspring on the Harpooner from Scotland to Vancouver Island in 1849. John came to oversee the HBC’s coal operations at Fort Rupert; that proving unsatisfactory, he assisted with development of the mines at Nanaimo. In 1851 the Muirs became the first permanent settlers of Sooke. Their son Robert Muir married Christina Sophia Steven, and their eldest daughter was Annie Mary. Two of the Muir family homes from the 1860s, Woodside and Burnside, still stand at Sooke but Robert and Christina’s Springside was demolished.]

1920-21: Richmond Greenhouses employee Alexander Wallace, his wife, a housekeeper at the Westholme Hotel, and Agnes, a steno at Gore-McGregor.
1923-27: Millworker William Adams.
1929-40: Percy Cromach (b. Leeds, Yorks, ENG, 1881-1943) and Jeanne Louise (née Marinet, b. Paris, France, 1881-1954). Percy came
1896-98: Ida Teresa (b. Trenton, ON, 1857-1914) and Samuel Barclay Martin (b. Alabama, USA, 1850-1931). Losee paid off his mortgages in 1896 and the Martins purchased the house for $1,567. Samuel came to
to Victoria in 1910 and was a salesman for New Method Laundries on North Park St, then a printer. He was a member of the Royal Canadian Legion, Pro Patria Branch. Jeanne came to Victoria in 1917, and later lived with their daughter Doris Craig.

1940-2001: William Colin “Bill” Lowery (b. Sydney, Australia, 1903-1969) and Ethel Alice Ruby (née Clarke, b. Nova Scotia, 1909-2001) married in 1935 at Christ Church Cathedral. They purchased the house with Ethel’s parents, Leonard “Charles” Clarke (b. Hastings, Sussex, ENG, 1878) and Alice (née Lee, b. Kentish Town, London, ENG, 1879) who married in Halifax, NS, 1906, and lived in the upstairs suite until 1955. Charles was a telegrapher in Halifax during WWI, and worked in radio communications here in WWII. Bill Lowery was a fitter at VMD and by 1951, a stationary engineer with McCarter Shingle Co. Ethel’s sister Gladys Myrtle and her husband Cyril Matthew Limb lived for a while in a third suite in the house. The suites were later occupied by several of Ethel and Bill’s daughters.

*Lowery family research by Julia Trachsel


• Vic West History

• Vic West Heritage Register

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

House GrantsHeritage HousesResources & PublicationsNews & EventsBuilding CommunityAbout