Heritage Register
James Bay

102 South Turner Street (ex-28 South Turner St)

Built 1894
Heritage-Designated 1979

For: Robert & Mary Dunn

102 South Turner


This is a two-storey, hip-roofed Italianate with sandwich brackets in all the eaves. There is a one-storey, hip-roofed extension at the rear. On the lower floor of the front façade is a hip-roofed, angled bay to the left of a hip-roofed open porch with slender, turned posts and spindle balusters; both roofs are flat-topped and have diamond-shaped shingles. The transom and sidelights on the porch are original, but the glazing was removed. The cladding of drop siding was covered in asbestos shinges for years. The panels below the bay windows are V-joint T&G.
The cubical Italianate house was a favourite of early 1890s developers because of its simple construction. The discriminating purchaser could order diverse decoration on porches, bay windows, eaves brackets, etc. A streetscape could then be varied, with the basic pattern repeated.


: Robert Dunn (b. Wigtownshire, SCT, 1857-1938) and Mary Isabel (née Sanderson, b. Whitby, ON 1862-1937) owned this house but never lived in it. They lived at 1215 Pembroke St, Fernwood, in 1900-02. Robert came to Ontario c.1870, and worked on a farm in St. Thomas. The St. Thomas Times publisher taught him the newspaper business. He worked for a number of papers, including the New York Herald and Toronto Globe. He and Mary moved to BC in 1891, where Robert managed the printing department of The World in Vancouver. Hon. William Templeman (633 Simcoe St), owner of Victoria Daily Times, then made him composing room foreman. Robert was editor until Templeman’s death in 1914. During WWI, Robert began writing a daily column for the Daily Colonist, which he continued for 20 years, until illness forced him to retire after a 60-year career in the business.


Tenants: 1897-1903: Thomas Mitchell (b. ENG c.1850-1917) and Louisa (née Farrar, b. Elizabethtown, ON 1860-1928) were early residents of this house. Marine engineer Thomas came to Canada in 1870. He married Louisa in Victoria in 1885. They died in Vancouver.

Owners: 1906-16+: William Henry Finlayson (b. Victoria 1872-1908), youngest son of HBC Chief Factor Roderick Finlayson, and Sarah (née Work), purchased this property in 1906. William had moved to Australia where in 1893 he married Jane Hamilton at her father John’s home Lochiel near Daly, South Australia. William returned to Victoria just before buying this property. He died unexpectedly and Jane retained ownership under the charge of Innes Scott, barrister and solicitor.

Tenants: 1908-09: Hotel proprietor Harry Molony (b. New Jersey 1847-1920) and wife Marie. Harry came to Canada in 1898.
1910-12: Sisters Clara, Sarah Augusta “Gussie” and Jessie Choate were born in Ingersoll, ON, to Jacob and Maria (née Bunnell) Choate. They arrived here c.1909. Clara died in 1918, Gussie in 1924 at 75.
1915-18: Mary (née Smith) Fairclough, widow of Benjamin, and her eight children came here from England c.1912. All of her sons except John, proprietor of Central Transfer, served overseas during WWI. Son Matthew died at 25 in the war.

Bert Cosby (b. Northamptonshire, ENG c.1892-1968) and Edith Mary (née Spicer, b. ENG 1891-1975) came here in 1913. He served overseas during WWI with the Royal Canadian Dragoons. He was a watchman for the CNSS, later a storekeeper at HMC Dockyard until he retired in 1960. Bert was a member of the Royal Canadian Legion, Pro Patria Branch, and Red Chevron.


• James Bay History

• James Bay Heritage Register

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

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