Heritage Register
James Bay

132 South Turner Street (ex-12 South Turner St)

Built 1890
Heritage-Designated 1985

For: James Hall & Skene Lowe

132 South Turner


This front-gabled, 1½-storey Queen Anne cottage has a balcony with turned posts and balusters in the gable; a Palladian window looks out over the balcony (compare this gable with that of 148 South Turner St, pg 261). There is a through-the-roof wall dormer on the left side of the house towards the rear. A large gabled extension on the right has a full-height, attached box bay with a small hooded window. The hipped roof of the verandah is attached to the gabled extension and wraps around to the left side of the house. The verandah, which terminates in a bay window on the left side has turned posts, flat arched brackets and spindled balustrades. The main gable, which has exposed rafter tails on the left side, is clad in octagon-shaped shingles, the body of the house in drop siding. There are two corbelled brick chimneys, one with chamfered corners. The house was extensively restored in the 1980s.


Owners: 1890-1907:
Photographers Hall & Lowe built the house for $2,000 as rental property. Skene Lowe (b. ENG, c.1856-1920) built another house on South Turner St in 1889 for $2,300 and lived at 204 Government St (ex-45 Carr St) from 1889-1920. He came to Victoria c.1884 to operate the Victoria branch of the Winnipeg studio Hall & Lowe. The partnership dissolved in 1892, when James D. Hall became sheriff of Vancouver. Lowe continued the business, using the old name until 1900, then changed it to his own. Fire destroyed the Government St office, and he moved to Douglas at Yates Sts. In 1914 Lowe moved to Los Angeles because of failing health, then returned here briefly.


Tenants: 1897-99: Widower Charles Rupert King (b. NS c.1845-1914) came to Victoria in 1884, and was a commercial traveller and commission agent for 30 years.

1899-1900: Adam Beattie Reid (b. SCT 1859-1906) and Mary Jane “May” (née Thompson, b. ENG 1877) came here in 1896. Adam, a clerk, then an accountant, died of TB. 1903: Matthew James “Jim/Jimmy” Little (b. Hamilton, ON 1875-1949) & Mary Jane (née Parsell, b. Scarborough, ON 1872-1947) lived here after their marriage in February, 1903, while their house at 642 Dallas Rd was being built.

Owners: 1907-10: Alexander Wallace McMorran (b. Paisley, ON 1882-1958) and Elizabeth Jane (née Whittaker, b. Victoria 1885-1976) married in 1908. Alex, the son of Saanich pioneers George and Isabella McMorran (1347 Vining St, Fernwood ), came to BC with his family in 1890, and grew up on a farm in Saanich (3501 Cedar Hill Rd, designated heritage). He was a clerk with BC Land & Investment Agency. Elizabeth was the daughter of Samuel and Christine Whittaker (1203-05 Yukon St, Fernwood). They moved to the Cariboo in 1921, and Alex managed the Gang Ranch for Western Canada Ranching Co. They retired in 1944 to Kamloops, BC.

Owner: 1911-17: Robert Hall.
Tenants: 1912-16: John Minto (b. Hamilton, ON 1873-1932) and widow Clara Belle Condron (née Hague, b. Missouri, USA 1872-1936) married in 1901. Clara owned the property from 1917-21, after they left Victoria. John was a telegraph editor with Victoria Daily Times.

Owner: 1921-27: Boat-builder and carpenter Ernest Albert Grau (b. Fort Langley, BC 1888-1978) married Edith Rose Amy Embling (b. London, ENG 1897-1991) in Saanich in 1927.

1927-43: Mary Louise (née Burke, b. Liverpool, ENG c.1884-1943), widow of David Murray (c.1872-1912), came to Trail, BC, with David c.1910; he was a rancher until his death. Her daughter, Mae Louise, was a school teacher at South Park School and St. Ann’s Academy. She resigned in 1948 and moved to Detroit, MI, to be married.

1945-51: Albert Bystedt (b. USA c.1899-1968) and Edith (née Genereux, b. Lethbridge, AB c.1904-1958) moved here from Saskatchewan in the early 1940s. Albert was a mechanic and then a building contractor from 1948 until he retired in 1963.

Owners Maureen Mackintosh and Derek Hawksley had researched their house for many years, but the earliest photo they found was 1977. Then in 2007 the 1903 photo was left in their mailbox by a Little family descendant (see 1903) from Vancouver. In 1990 Maureen and Derek won a Hallmark Award for their detailed restoration of this house.


• Statement of Significance (Canadian Register of Historic Places)

• James Bay History

• James Bay Heritage Register

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

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