Heritage Register

1916 Belmont Avenue

Built 1893

For: Rev. Peter H. McEwen (McEwan)

Builder: possibly Peter H. McEwen

1916 Belmont


This is an Eclectic Vernacular house incorporating two popular Victorian styles, Queen Anne and Italianate. It is a hip-roofed house with eaves brackets, a front pedimented gable, and a two-storey hip-roofed square bay on the left. A large hip-roofed extension on the rear has a gabled dormer. There is a small bracketed pent roof above a window on the right lower floor. Below the pediment is a two-storey angled bay; a pent roof separates the two. The front corner porch with its shallow gabled roof at one time had a shaped bargeboard and drop siding in the gable. It has now been changed to complement the design of the pediment. Both the pediment and the front porch gable have decorative shingles. The body is clad in drop siding.

1893-98: The Rev. Peter H. McEwen of Emmanuel Baptist Church (1900 Fernwood Rd, Fernwood) bought this property from Thomas Haughton (1444-48 Pembroke St, Fernwood), and built the house for $2,200. McEwen was construction supervisor for the church in 1892.


Capt. James Joseph Gray (b. Nottingham, ENG, 1846-1908) and Hannah “Annie” Singer (b. Aldershot, ENG, 1861-1934). They came to Canada in 1887. James, a master mariner and a Mason, was prominent in coastal shipping circles. Annie had Warley plumbed in 1910 and lived here until 1923. It was then rented out; at the time of her death, Annie Gray was living at 352 Moss St (Fairfield) with her daughter and son-in-law, Nora Mary Elizabeth and James William Hudson, who married in 1914. Ownership passed to Nora and her brother Vincent in 1934 when Annie died.

Tenants: 1925-32: Everett Stanley Farr (b. Centreville, ON, 1890-1948) and Mary Elizabeth (née MacKenzie, b. Warwick, ON, 1887-1958). Everett was a high school teacher, then assistant to the principal of Victoria College, but several years before his death he became a barrister and solicitor, in partnership with W.C. Moresby as Moresby & Farr.
1933-36: Mrs. Adelaide Beatrice Marshall (née Oliver, b. Perth, SCT, 1884-1970), her son Frank Edward, a packer for HBC, and her daughters Kathleen and Hilda, a school teacher. Adelaide emigrated to BC in 1905. Her husband was Edward Caleb Marshall (b.USA, 1878-1958), a locomotive engineer for the CPR.
1937-41: Labourer Frederick James McMinn (b. Shercock, IRL, 1893-1966), his wife Harriet Isabel (née Graham, b. County Cavan, IRL, 1892-1983), and their offspring: Patricia, a newstand attendant on BCCSS ships, Richard, a seaman with BCCSS, and Roy, a clerk. Fred emigrated to Canada in 1913 and joined the Canadian army in London, ON, in 1915 to serve in WWI. At that time he was a farmer.

Owners: 1941-63: Walter George Mason (1891-1950) and Hilda Amy (née Arnold) purchased the house from Nora Hudson and her brother Vincent Gray. The Masons came to Victoria in 1941 from Calgary, AB, where they had lived for many years. Walter was born in the state of Victoria, Australia, and came to Canada in 1905. He served as an army corporal in WWI and WWII, and was an active member of the Royal Canadian Legion.

Title & Assessment Research by Carey Pallister


• Fernwood History

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

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