Heritage Register

1564 Rockland Avenue

Built 1891-92

For: Pauline & Stephen Tingley

1564 Rockland


This symmetrical two-storey, side-gabled, simple vernacular house has returns on the gables, bracketed eaves and turned finials. The bellcast-hip-roofed, fullwidth front verandah has slender paired Tuscan columns and a solid balustrade which replaced the original single square posts and sawn balustrade. The original chamfered square pilasters at either end of the verandah still exist. The main floor has a pair of double-hung one-over-one sash on either side of the central entry with its sidelights and transom. The upper and side windows are two-overtwo double-hung sashes. Louvered shutters have been added to all the windows on the front. There is a gabled extension at the rear. The house is clad in drop siding; it has a corbelled brick chimney on the ridge.


Owners: 1891-1905: The Tingleys lived in Ashcroft, BC, and may never have lived here, although they built the house and paid taxes until 1905. Pauline (1856-1946), the daughter of Frank W. and Agnes Laumeister, was born in San Francisco. Her family came to BC in 1858 and she married widower Stephen Tingley (1839-1915) in Ashcroft in 1877. His first wife Elizabeth (1840-1873) died when she was thrown from a wagon during a family trip.

Stephen was born in New Brunswick, came to BC in 1858 via Panama, and settled in the Cariboo in 1861. He opened a harness shop in Yale, and F.J. Barnard (1462 Rockland Av) asked him to run a new 6-horse stagecoach to complement his BC Express Co, which ran between Yale and Barkerville. From 1864-97, Stephen drove the return trip between Quesnel and Barkerville, and was known as the Best Whip in the West. During his 33 years he was whip, partner, director and became sole proprietor of the BC Express in 1886 when F.J. Barnard and James Hamilton sold their shares to him. He moved the head office to Ashcroft, and purchased numerous area properties to breed and raise horses to supply his expanding business. In 1889 Tingley purchased the 108 Mile Ranch, now a provincial heritage site. The large barn on the property housed up to 200 horses. In 1894 he purchased the Hat Creek Ranch from William Cargile. This is also a heritage site. Its close proximity to the Cariboo Wagon Road made it a useful facility for Tingley’s business. Steven’s son Fred ran the ranch for seven years and in 1901, a two-storey addition was added to the stopping house. Tingley purchased a string of properties 1897, but that year the BC Express Co lost the mail contract it held since the early 1860s to a Toronto syndicate. Fierce competition forced Tingley to close his business and sell his equipment. By 1905 Tingley had more or less retired and moved to Vancouver where he died 10 years later.


1906-08: Arthur Robertson (c.1857-1917) paid the taxes in 1906-08. He came to Canada from the Orkney Islands as a boy. He served the HBC in Winnipeg, then came to BC in 1882. He was a long-time partner in the brokerage firm of Martin & Robertson of Victoria and Vancouver. He died in Baltimore, MD, after travelling there for surgery. His wife Elizabeth died in Pasadena, CA, in 1937.

Tenants: 1892: BC Land & Investment Agency director Cuyler A. Holland in 1892. Post office inspector Edward H. Fletcher lived here in 1895.

1898-1906: The Combe family moved here from 1490 Fairfield Rd, Fairfield. Harvey Walter Henry Combe (b. England 1860-1922) was deputy Registrar of BC’s Supreme Court. He came to BC in 1882, and for 30 years was one of BC’s leading athletes, in tennis, cricket, football, running and shooting. He also excelled in golf. He was a provincial champion nine times. His wife Charlotte Margaret (née Wray, b. Isle of Wight 1859-1915) was also a champion golfer, as was their daughter Nora Patterson. After Margaret died, Harvey married Frances, daughter of William and Cecilia Tyrwhitt-Drake, in 1916 (1140 Fort St, Fernwood).

1908-34: John Willis Ambery (b. Toronto, ON 1868- 1949), a banker, joined Hiram Walker & Sons (HWS) of Walkerville, ON, in 1893. In 1902 he became manager for BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan, and established his headquarters in Victoria after marrying Augusta Helen Mason (1872-1933) in Hamilton, ON. HWS, distillers, began paying taxes on this property in 1911. After John left HWS, he was secretary of the Union Club for several years until retiring in 1929. He left this house the year after Augusta’s death.

1935-59: Annie Crichton Innes (née Christie, b. Amherst, NS 1867-1945), a widow, came to BC in 1890 and lived here with her unmarried daughter Annie Fuller. Annie Innes’s husband was lawyer Alexander Scott Innes (b. Tasmania, 1853-1933). Their son Alexander died in WWI. Annie Fuller was a bookkeeper with the BC Power Commission for many years, then a clerk at Royal Jubilee Hospital for 15 years until retiring in 1955. She lived in this house until 1959.


• 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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