Heritage Register
James Bay

116 South Turner Street (ex-22 South Turner St)
Silver Birch

Built 1890
Heritage-Designated 1985

For: Andrew & Emma Schnoter

116 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.


Cigar manufacturer Andrew Schnoter (b. Germany c.1843-1924) and Emma (née Hanson, b. Mexico 1851-1920). Andrew came here in 1885, Emma in 1887. Their offspring, all born in San Jose, CA, were all cigar makers and boarded with them: Frank Henry (1874-1966), Charles P. (c.1876), and Rudolph (c.1879-1950; 601 Toronto St, James Bay). Andrew moved to Vancouver by 1923.


1908-11: Henry Lomas (b. Lichfield, ENG c.1866-1935) and Catherine (née Shank, then Weber, b. St. Paul, MN). Henry was the proprietor of the Steltz Restaurant on Yates St in 1907 when he married Catherine.

1910-16+: George and Genevieve Sangster named this house Silver Birch. They lived many years at 161 South Turner St.

Tenants: 1912-29: George Brett (b. Grantham, Lincs, ENG c.1867-1929) and Martha (née Wolf, b. Napa Valley, CA c.1878-1931) married before 1901. George came to Victoria in the mid 1890s. Martha came to Victoria with her parents Peter and Johanna Wolf in the 1880s. Henry worked in the transfer business.

1932-50: Jesse Sylvester (c.1880-1945) and Catherine (née Sangster, c.1892-1956) were both born in Victoria; Catherine was the daughter of George and Elizabeth Sangster (see above). She married Jesse, a gardener, in 1914. They lived at 953 Empress Av, North Park, in 1931 before moving here. Catherine later lived at 161 South Turner St.

1951-56: Alexander Stewart (b. Esquimalt 1911-1962) and Agnes “Nancy” “Nan” (née McLean, b. Glasgow, SK 1910-1989) married in 1929. Alexander was an electric welder, and later a boilermaker for the federal government.

In 1978 owner Bill Langlois won a Hallmark Award for his rehabilitation of this house.


• James Bay History

• James Bay Heritage Register

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

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