Heritage Register

1320 Purcell Place
(ex-1041, then 1085 Moss St)

Built 1912; 1944

For: Beatrix & James Cameron

Architects: William D'Oyly Rochfort & E.W. Sankey (1912); Hubert Savage
Contractors: Cameron Investment & Securities (1912); George H. Wheaton (1944)

1320 Purcell


This charming two-storey British Arts & extensions on either side of a wide projecting balcony with sawn balusters. Below the balcony is the entry porch with its massive stone piers and balustrades. On either side of the porch are hip-roofed angled bays. There are hip-roofed box bays on the left and right sides of the house; the left one is cantilevered. All of the bays have modillions under the eaves, as does the porch roof. The upper storey and gables are half-timbered and stuccoed, the main floor is shingled. The basement is clad in bevelled siding, with stone piers on all corners, and the foundation is concrete. A wide, shingled, shed-roofed dormer has been added on the front.

Rochfort & Sankey, best known for the Royal Theatre (805 Broughton St, Fairfield, 1912), were partners for just three years, until WWI. Rochfort had apprenticed with Samuel Maclure, and the strong finials and decorative bargeboards here are reminiscent of Maclure’s work. The 2,400-square foot house was built with nine bedrooms at a cost of $15,000. Although it was converted to eight suites during WWII, it still stands on a substantial lot, which adds to its imposing presence.


1912-41: James Oscar Cameron (b. Sparta, TN, 1867- 1943) and Beatrix (née Freeman, 1872-1954), the daughter of a judge, married in Carlsbad, NM, in 1893. [They also built 1802 Belmont Av, Fernwood, in 1912.] James, a lawyer and shipbuilder, was president of Cameron Investment & Securities and Cameron Lumber Co, and a partner in Cameron Bros Timber Co. He was educated at Cumberland University in Lebanon, TN, and called to the Texas and New Mexico bars in 1890. James practised law 1900-07 in Carlsbad, and was involved in public utilities and ranching. The Camerons came to Victoria in 1907 and James established Cameron Lumber Co with his brother Donnell Officer Cameron, also a lawyer, in 1908. The mill prospered overall, but a fire in 1917 and another in 1931 halted production for a period of time. The 1931 fire required complete reconstruction of the mill resulting in a modernized facility. Three years after James died, Donnell sold it to eastern capitalists, and it became the Victoria branch of BC Forest Products.

Beatrix was a powerhouse in local music circles. She revived the Victoria Ladies’ Musical Club in 1930 as the Victoria Musical Arts Society for men and women, and was president for two years. Beatrix brought many internationally renowned musical performers to Victoria and was a patron of the Victoria Symphony. She is credited with organizing the City’s first musical festival, and in 1948 sponsored the J.O. Cameron Memorial Pavilion in Beacon Hill Park, to be used for free concerts.

James and Beatrix moved to 1262 Rockland Av in 1941.


Tenants: 1942: Gladys Dacre Jancowski (née Barrett- Lennard, b. Port Hope, ON 1888-1970); her husband Richard Frederick Jancowski (b. ON 1883-1953) was a master mariner.

1943: Professor of Music William Raven (b. Coventry, ENG 1884-1967) and Doctor of Music Eleanor “Millicent” (née Weston, b. ENG 1886-1955). Beatrix Cameron had the house converted to 8 suites in 1944 by architect Hubert Savage.
Tenants: 1947-48: John A. and Margaret Mellander. John’s mother was a daughter of Victoria architect Wm. Ridgway-Wilson.


• Map of Victoria's Heritage Register Properties

• Rockland History

• Rockland Heritage Register

• This Old House, Victoria's Heritage Neighbourhoods,
Volume Three: Rockland, Burnside, Harris Green,
Hillside-Quadra, North Park & Oaklands

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