Heritage Register
Victoria West

215 Wilson Street
-Old Esquimalt Rd; 212 then 210 Wilson St)

Built 1902-03
Heritage-Designated 1984

For: Horace Jobson


This is a 1½ storey, gable-roofed Queen Anne with an Edwardian wrap-around verandah. A large upper-floor bay on the left sits on the verandah roof; below at main-floor level is a shallow angled bay. On the right side is a small through-the-roof wall dormer. There are decorative bargeboards with a raised pattern on the front, left and rear gables. The front and left gable apexes are Stick-style. The verandah has a hipped roof with a pedimented gabled entrance portico which has paired, chamfered posts. The other verandah posts are singles. The balustrade, like the body of the house, is clad in double-bevelled siding. The rear verandah and gazebo are more recent additions.


c.1892-1902: It has long been thought that this house was originally 212 Wilson and built by Andrew and Isabella Strachan before 1892. However, 215 is listed in directories as 212 only in 1908-14; after that it is 210, two doors from Alston St (which wasn’t completed in this block, but the road allowance remains). Adding to the confusion: there are no house numbers in city directories until 1908, there is no 1890s fire insurance plan (FIP) for this area, and the City didn’t switch the even and odd numbers until after the 1957 FIP. The Strachans’ house at 212 was demolished after 1957 and the lot has been the garden west of 215 Wilson since the 1970s. [Note: Andrew Henderson Strachan (b. Kinrosshire, SCT, 1841-1921) emigrated to New York in 1859 and prospected in the USA. He settled in Victoria by 1881 and ran a grocery. In 1882 he married Isabella (b. SCT 1842-1903) and opened a broom factory on this property, which was Esquimalt Rd at the time. By 1898 the family and broom factory had moved to Gordon Head in Saanich. Isabella died of typhoid fever. Andrew was a pioneer of the strawberry growing industry and prominent in Saanich political and community life.]

1902-24: Horace Jobson (b. Lancs, ENG, 1882-1952) was a machinist on the SS Charmer, then a plumber on the Wilsmere. Horace bought lots 61A and 61 from the Strachans and made a substantial improvement to 61A in 1902-03: he built this house and called it Wilsmere. In 1907 he married Alice A. Bell (b. Carlisle, ENG, 1881-1953) at St. Saviour’s Church. From 1913 Horace’s widowed mother E. Emma Hobson lived in the old Strachan house on lot 61. She remained there after Horace and Alice left this house in 1925. [Note: The Jobson family came to Victoria in 1885. Emma’s husband John Henry Jobson was a machine fitter who died sometime after 1901.] In 1934 Horace and Annie lived at 1116 Caledonia Av, Fernwood. When Emma died in 1939, Horace was living in Ucluelet and Annie in Bothell, WA. Horace died in Sidney, and Annie in Victoria.


Tenants: 1909-10: Jobson built 235 and 205 Wilson in 1908 and 1909, and his family lived in each of them for a year. They rented 215 to Victoria Daily Times lino operator and printer Edward and Jessie Abery, and their offspring: Ethel May, a clerk at Henry Young & Co; Robert; and projectionist Edward David. Edward and Jessie came to Canada in 1867 and 1866, but were in the USA when their children were born. They returned to Canada in 1897 and were in Victoria from 1901.

Owners: 1929-32: Shaw’s Studio proprietor, then hardware merchant Dalton James Hill (b. ENG 1866-1947) and Sarah Jane Rose (née Baddeley, b. ENG 1856-1945) married in Vancouver in 1909; Sarah Rose was a widow at that time.
1936-37: Canadian Army engineer Russell Edward and Annie “Mabel” Fulton married in Vancouver in 1929.
1939-41: BC Government clerk Griffith Jones (b. Victoria 1913) and cosmetician Edith Ellen (née Hetherington, b. ENG 1913) married in Victoria in 1933.

1942-43: Yarrows Shipyard machinist Donald and Edna Wilson.
1944: Margaret Crowther, whose husband Frank was on WWII active service.
HMC Dockyard helper Lawrence and Jessie Spiers.

1951-71: HMC Dockyard steam fitter Roy Weldon Allison (b. Newcastle, NB, 1908-1971) and Joan (née Soruby).
1973-2012: Leslie “Les” and Ruth “Shirley” Beach won a Hallmark Society Award in 1980 for their restoration of this house.


• Vic West History

• Vic West Heritage Register

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

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