Heritage Register
Victoria West

529 Springfield Street

Built 1906
Heritage-Designated 1999, including interior features

For: Albert H. & Bertha Bostock

Architect: attributed to Samuel Maclure
Builder: Albert Bostock

529 Springfield


This is an early version of the Edwardian Vernacular Arts & Crafts house. It is 1½ storeys, front gabled and shingled. On the right side is a flat-roofed dormer over the interior stairwell, and a one-storey gabled bay. There is a short box bay on decorative brackets below the dormer. The front gable has a band of three windows above a box bay and a recessed corner porch. The shallow box bay, supported on brackets, has wide, heavy window casings below a substantial drip cap. The porch has chamfered square posts and plain square balusters. The porch and stair balustrades have been changed from the original. There is stucco and half-timbering on the front gable and the dormer. Original interior features include three fireplaces (two with original tiles), hardware, plate and picture rails, wood floors and trim, box-beamed dining room ceiling, sawn balusters, and carved newel posts.


Owners: 1906-72: Albert Homan “Al” Bostock (b. King’s Head Hill, Chingford, Essex, ENG, 1873-1939) and Bertha “Bertie” “Bert” (née Wood, b. Derbyshire, ENG, 1876-1960) married at St. Saviour’s Church in 1899. Bertie came to Canada with her father William Wood (230 Robert St, Vic West) after her mother Hannah died. In 1889 Al came to Victoria with his mother Harriett and sister Amy. About 1891, Harriet purchased two adjacent lots on Springfield. She funded the construction of 521-23 Springfield St on the south lot in 1891 for Amy and husband Edwin Macdougall. Harriett and Al lived in one-half of the duplex for some time.

In 1906 Al and Bertie built 529 Springfield on the vacant north lot at a cost of $2000. Al worked for the E&N as a brakeman, then a conductor from 1904-38. He had different postings and frequently over-nighted in company accommodation along the line. Al retired after 45 years of service. In 1912 Al and Bertie moved to 638 Battery St, James Bay. He was well known for throwing bundles of magazines and candies to children off the train as it passed isolated homes along the route. He was a member of the Order of Railway Conductors. This house remained in the Bostock family as an income property, with Bertie collecting the rent every month until son Kenneth Bostock (1908-1992) took over the collection from c.1939 until he sold it in 1972. He believed Samuel Maclure designed the house, but no proof has been found.


: P.R. Brown Real Estate salesman George Sayward and Adele Marie Brown. George was the eldest son of Percival Rideout Brown who established the firm in 1889. In 1918 George began the insurance brokerage firm, Brown Agencies; he was chairman of the board of the amalgamated firm Brown Bros when he died.
1914-15: William Law and Margaret Gibson Ker, and their daughter Dorothy, a stenographer at the Bank of British North America. William was a druggist at D.E. Campbell’s Drug Store. They came to Canada in 1912. 1917: Sgt. Nathaniel Henry Stevens, CA CMSC, on WWI active service, and his wife Olive Josephine; they married in Esquimalt in 1915.
1918: Eva Mary Rex, whose husband Sgt. George Henry Rex, CA, was on WWI active service. George was a “French polisher.” He and Eva were living at Work Point Barracks when he enlisted for the CEF in 1915.
1920-23: Margaret Hillier (née Jones, b. Blythe, ENG, 1863-1923), the widow of miner Henry Edward Hillier (b. Bristol, ENG, 1853-1907), and their sons William Henry and Charles Edward, sailors, and Francis Nathaniel “Frank” and Roy, who both worked for the E&N. The Hilliers emigrated from England to the USA by 1881, had three daughters, then came to Canada in 1888. They lived in Vancouver and Nanaimo, where they had five sons.
1923-47: Frank Fulford Toms (b. Moose Jaw, SK, 1889-1947), a plasterer and blacksmith’s assistant, and Marjorie Kathleen (née Fleming, b. Victoria, 1896-1988), a private nurse, married in Saanich in 1919. Marjorie was a graduate in 1918 from  Victoria's St Joseph's Hospital School of Nursing. Her father Edgar and uncle Harold Fleming were well-known local photographers. The Toms’ daughters, Joan and Doreen, met the train in Vic West every Saturday at 5:30 to pay Al Bostock the $5 weekly rent. They spent the 10 cents he gave them on candy before returning home. Marjorie moved shortly after Frank’s death.
1954-69: BC government clerk Mona Stevens (née Watling, b. Beale, Yorks, ENG, 1921-1982), wife of Robert Nelson Stevens, and her five children.

Derek Trachsel (b. Red Deer, AB, 1944-2009) and Julia (née Zwicker, b. Antigonish, NS) married in 1987. From 1999 until moving to Nova Scotia in 2008, the Trachsels were valued volunteers with the Victoria Heritage Foundation: Derek took the photos of more than 600 buildings for VHF’s This Old House series, and Julia researched and wrote the history of Victoria West for the first edition of this book. In 2001 they earned a Hallmark Society Award for the “meticulous restoration” of this house.

* early families researched & written by Julia Trachsel


• Vic West History

• Vic West Heritage Register

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

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