Heritage Register
James Bay

53 Lewis Street

Built c.1929
Heritage-Designated 2008

For: George & Martha Cramer

53 Lewis


This is a one-storey, hip-roofed Arts & Crafts bungalow. There is a cantilevered box bay on the right side, and a shed-roofed extension on the rear porch. A half-width recessed porch on the left front has a solid balustrade, one plain square post, and a side-facing front door. The front windows have three-over-one upper sashes over single lower sashes. The main floor of the house and porch balustrade are clad in double-bevelled siding. The basement level, separated from the main floor by a wide belt-course, is shingled, as is the stepped balustrade on either side of the front steps. Andrew Pringle bought the house in 1993, and rehabilitated it in 2000 by removing the later stucco and replacing inappropriate stair railings, then painted the house a period colour scheme. He also tastefully added stained and leaded glass.

The history of this bungalow is shrouded in some mystery. The records for 53 Lewis begin in 1929, yet the house appears much older, and was likely built sometime before WWI. The 1929 plumbing permit is in the name of George Cramer who had built another house opposite, at 50 Lewis, in 1912. His name also appears on the water permits of two other houses that stood opposite, where the apartment building parking lot is now located. Is it possible that he moved one to this site in 1929, raising it for a basement garage at the same time?


1929-30: George William Cramer (1858-1939) sold this house in 1930. Born in Kingston, ON, of Irish stock, George farmed at Baldur, MB, with his wife Martha Orilla (née Card, b. Uxbridge, ON, 1864-1944) for many years. They retired to Victoria in 1910 and moved to Lewis St in 1912. By 1914 George and Martha were living on Wark St with daughters Mary and Pearl, and in 1917 George was working as a guard at Victoria Chemical Co.


1930-38: Stanley Figueiredo and Eleanor May (née Thorp, 1887-1964) were newly-arrived in Victoria. Stanley was a salesman with the HBC. Eleanor was born in Birchington, Kent, England, and came to Canada in 1904. Stanley apparently left BC sometime after her death.

1939-59: George and Ada Brown lived at 50 Lewis St from 1917-38, then in 53 Lewis until their deaths.


• James Bay History

• James Bay Heritage Register

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

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