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Heritage Register
James Bay

151 Oswego Street (ex-82, then 221 Oswego St)

Built 1884-85
Heritage-Designated 1977

For: William & Martha Patton

Builder: William Francis Patton

151 Oswego

ARCHITECTURE:

This home is an outstanding example of the Italianate cottage, and illustrates the high quality millwork and decorative trim often lavishly applied on these small cottages. This house dominates an important intersection, and exhibits its detail on both street façades. Curves and diamonds drive the decorative elements. Large arched bargeboards punctuated by a finial encircle the main gable, and are reflected by a small finialed arch over a wall dormer, a small, round-topped window on the front hall below, and flattened arches (created by brackets) over the porch. Applied diamond half-round decoration - so popular on this street - hints at the tiny diamond shingles on two pent roofs and the unusual triangular bay. Many brackets support the soffits and emphasize the returns on the main gables. A matching gable on the rear of the building is masked by a kitchen extension. The other distinctive decorative element is the preponderance of fretted work, seen in all bargeboards and over the porch. The upper and lower balconies feature unusual perforated panels. The house is clad in drop siding and topped with two corbelled chimneys.

ORIGINAL OCCUPANTS:

Carpenter William Francis Patton built this house shortly after he and Martha (Lamoreaux) came from Ontario in 1884. Assessments in 1884 indicate improvements of $300; this jumped to $800 in 1885. They were living on Catherine St in Victoria West at the time of William’s death in 1891 at 40. Martha died in 1947 at the age of 97.

OTHER OCCUPANTS:

Isabella and John Graham owned this as revenue property from 1888-1912, and lived at 441 Simcoe St. John was born and educated in Perth, Scotland. He was Perth’s city solicitor, then worked in the Glasgow treasury department. When John arrived in Victoria in 1859, Gov. James Douglas appointed him to the Vancouver Island Treasury department. After BC joined Canada in 1871, he was Dominion Assistant Receiver General for BC until retiring in 1890. Sometime before 1891 he married Isabella Aitken. John died in 1908 aged 81.

Isabella, born in Scotland, went to California in the mid 1870s to live with her sister. She arrived in Victoria in the early 1880s. Isabella died in 1915 at 77.

John and Alexina Finlayson lived here in the early 1890s. John was born in Rosshire, Scotland, and came to Victoria c.1871. Alexina Mckinnon was born on the Isle of Skye and came to Victoria in 1870. She and John married in 1872. John was a pioneer grocer on Government St. By 1892, Premier John Robson had appointed him superintendent of the provincial reformatory for boys. He died in 1895 at 62, Alexina in 1909 at 68.

William and Hannah (Badrock) Stewart lived here from 1912-30. William was born in Kerrimuir, Scotland, in 1863 and came to BC in 1886. Hannah was born in Wales and came here in the late 1880s. They married in 1891. William was a furnace man for Albion Iron Works, and later employed with CPR Coast Service. He died in 1930 at 67. Hannah left and later died in 1948 at 78.

Henry and Ada (Cleaton) Dunnington purchased this property in 1913, but lived here from 1931-37. Henry was born in Yorkshire, England, and Ada in Gloucester. They came to Victoria c.1907. Henry was a carpenter for 48 years. He died in 1937 at 81, Ada in 1943 at 90.

From c.1941-46, Ean and Mary (Butler) Stewart lived here. Ean, a marine engineer born in Montreal in 1881, came to Victoria with Mary in 1910, and died in 1949. Mary, born in Glasgow in 1878, died in 1955.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION & IMAGES:


• James Bay History

• James Bay Heritage Register

• Hallmark Heritage Society Archives

• This Old House, Victoria's Heritage Neighbourhoods,
Volume Two: James Bay


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