Heritage Register
James Bay

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

Built 1884-85
Heritage-Designated 1977

For: William & Martha Patton

Builder: William Francis Patton

151 Oswego


This 1½-storey, front-gabled Italianate Cottage dominates an important intersection at Oswego and Simcoe Sts. There is a long gabled wing on the left side of the house facing Simcoe St. The gables on the street façades have elaborate bargeboards in the form of semi-circular arches with finials and drop-finials at their apices; the bases of the bargeboards are supported on brackets. In the front of the Simcoe St wing is a centrally-located, through-the-roof gabled wall dormer, with similar bargeboards to those of the main gables. Below the dormer, a low-balustraded balcony across the front of the wing sits on a pent roof supported by the posts of the front porch and its hall. The porch has two fluted and chamfered square posts with very decorative brackets and drop finials, similar to the gable details. The balustrade has sawn balusters and the stairs have low, sloped, solid balustrades; all the balustrades have rails to meet building code. There is a semi-circular arched window in the hall. Under a long, narrow, double-hung window in the Oswego St gable is an unusual pent-roofed, triangular bay. The pent roofs are shingled in diamond-shaped shingles. The cladding is drop siding with vertical V-joint T&G beneath the water table. The foundation is concrete, and there are two corbelled chimneys.


Owners: 1884-87: Carpenter William Francis Patton (b. ON 1851-1891) built this house after he and wife Martha (née Lamoreaux, b. ON 1851-1947) came from Ontario in 1884. Assessments list improvements of $300, and jumped to $800 in 1885. They were living in Victoria West when William died after a fall from a scaffold.


1887-1912: Isabella (née Aitken, b. Killearn, SCT 1836-1915) and John Graham (b. Perth, SCT 1826-1908) owned this as revenue property, and lived at 441 Simcoe St. John was Perth’s city solicitor, then in Glasgow’s treasury department. When he arrived here in 1859, Gov. James Douglas appointed him to the Vancouver Island Treasury department. After BC joined Canada in 1871, John was Dominion Assistant Receiver General for BC, retiring in 1890. Sometime before 1891 he married Isabella. She moved to her sister’s in California in the mid-1870s, and to Victoria in the early 1880s.

Tenants: 1889-90: Thomas and Francis “Fanny/ie” Anne McConnan and their four sons who were born in St. Johns, NF. Thomas, a stationer and bookseller, committed suicide in 1892.

1890-92: John Finlayson (b. Rosshire, SCT c.1833-1895) and Alexina (née McKinnon, b. Isle of Skye, SCT c.1841-1909) married here in 1872. John came to Victoria c.1871 and became a grocer on Government St. Alexina came in 1870. By 1892, Premier John Robson had appointed John superintendent of the provincial reformatory for boys. 1894: Dr A. Norton-Taylor, physician and surgeon, had an office in the Five Sisters Block on Government St.

Tenants: 1897-98: Civil Engineer Lathom Blacker Hamlin, DLS, CE, engaged in road survey and construction work in Cowichan and Bella Coola in 1897. In July he went to Fort Wrangle and Dawson City for the Yukon gold rush, wrote a report on Teslin Lake and staked claim #5 on Mint Creek. He froze to death in the Klondyke in 1898. His widow Elizabeth “Bessie” Mary (née Moclair) and her mother Mary Moclair moved to 115 Simcoe St.*

1898-99: Isabel Sanderson, widow, and in 1899 her daughter Annie and family moved in. Annie’s husband William Dee was manager of Western Union Telegraph & Cable Co and Great Northwestern Telegraph Co of Canada.

1901-02: George W. Adams, a commercial traveller/commission merchant for HBC.

1904-05: George & Margaret Stout (351 Simcoe, James Bay).
1908: Newman Taylor (b. London, ENG 1873-1957) and Mary Annie
(née Hardwick, b. Wakefield, Yorks, ENG). Newman, a prospector in Rossland, BC, married Mary in Revelstoke in 1901. They came here in 1906 and Newman was a clerk with BC Lands & Works Dept; he retired in 1949 after many years as department superintendent.

1909-30: William Stewart (b. Kerrimuir, SCT 1863-1930) and Hannah (née Badrock, b. WAL c.1870-1948). William came to BC in 1886, Hannah in the late 1880s; they married in 1891. William was a furnace man for Albion Iron Works, then with BCCSS.

Owners: 1913-37: Henry Dunnington (b. Yorks, ENG c.1854-1937) and Ada Hannah (née Cleaton, b. Gloucester, ENG c.1851-1943) came to Canada in 1909; they didn’t live in the house until

1931-37: Henry was a carpenter for 48 years.
1939-40: Harry Thomas (b. ENG 1873-1946), a painter and barber, and Lillian Mary (née Baines, b. Chesham, ENG 1867-1944) came to Canada in 1903, farmed in Last Mountain, SK, in 1916, and came here in 1925.

The house became 151 Oswego St in 1943.
1941-49: Ean Osler Stewart (b. Montreal 1881-1949) and Mary (née Butler, b. Glasgow, SCT 1878-1955). Ean, a marine engineer, and Mary came to Victoria in 1910. They lived at 421 Kingston St when Ean died of cancer. 1952-63: Leon Etienne (b. Belgium 1879-1963), a retired mechanic and bachelor, lived in Victoria for his last 16 years. His body was removed to Montreal for burial.

*Jenn Roberts, Yukon Archives, from L.B. Hamlin’s 1897 diary.

• James Bay History

• James Bay Heritage Register

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

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