Heritage Register
James Bay

247 Oswego Street (ex-54, 407 Oswego St)

Built 1889
Heritage-Designated 1977

For: Augustus & Jennie Warren

247 Oswego


-roofed with a pediment-gabled wing on the right front which ends as a hip at the rear. There are sunburst brackets below the gable on the corner boards. There is also a bracketed, pediment-gabled dormer on the front. On the right side of the house is a pediment-gabled box bay with a shed-roofed sunroom addition attached on its rear. On the front an angled bay below the gable sits to the right of a shed-roofed porch. The porch has two chamfered, square posts with scrollsawn brackets and a solid balustrade clad in drop-siding. The windows in the front gable, the dormer, and the upper sashes around the house are multi-light Queen Anne windows with wooden muntins. There are decorative shingles in the gables and the panels of the bays, and board-&-batten in the frieze. The body of the house is clad in drop siding, and the skirting below the water table in vertical drop siding. This cottage and its garden provide a small heritage oasis surrounded by modern, multi-occupancy buildings and a parking lot.


1889-92: Augustus and Jennie Warren. A marine engineer, Augustus was born in the USA in 1845, came to Canada in 1875, and married Jennie Suffern here in 1882. Born in Seattle, she came here in 1881 when she was 14. According to the census, she was living in a home for orphaned and abandoned girls.


1893-1907: Capt. James and Emily Bendrodt. James was born in Denmark, came to BC in 1878, and married Emily Swanson in 1888. A master mariner, he was later a pilot. James was master of the Dunsmuirs’ tug SS Alexander and the SS Isabel. James died in 1903 at 44 from pneumonia. Emily was born in Victoria in 1868 to Capt. John and Katherine Swanson. John Swanson was Nanaimo’s first member in the BC Legislature, and skipper of the SS Beaver. Educated at St. Ann’s Academy. Emily died in 1938 at 70.

1908-27: Capt. Alexander and Jessie (née King) McDonald came to BC from Scotland in 1895 and moved to Victoria in 1907. Alexander, from a seafaring family, was a master mariner by the age of 24. He captained the cargo ship SS Oscar for many years. During one stormy trip in January 1913 from Nanaimo to Vancouver, the cargo of dynamite and black powder caught fire. Capt. McDonald beached the ship on the tip of Protection Island, a couple miles from inhabitants, and hid his crew in a nearby mine shaft. The explosion destroyed the ship, but thanks to his efforts, collateral damage was minimal. This incident prompted revision of the Shipping Act to make shipping explosives safer. Alexander then captained the cableship Restorer for 40 years, retiring in 1937. He and Jessie lived in 121 Government St after 247 Oswego, then moved to 690 Dallas Rd, where they lived until their deaths, Alexander in 1958 at 81 and Jessie in 1960 at 82.

1937-51: Albert and Rosetta (née Talbot) Sadler. Natives of London, ENG, Albert came to Victoria in 1906, Rosetta in 1910. They married in 1910 in Esquimalt. Albert was a veteran of the Boer War, a charter member of FOE, and a life member of the Army, Navy and Air Force Veterans’ Association. He was a rigger on the Restorer for 33 years until 1944. He died in 1960 at 80. Rosetta belonged to FOE’s Ladies Auxiliary. She died in Langford, BC, in 1964 at 85.


• James Bay History

• James Bay Heritage Register

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

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