Heritage Register

1648 Rockland Avenue (ex-2 Rockland Av)
Newholme; The Grove

Built 1894

For: Alan & Mabel Dumbleton

Architect: attributed to Francis Mawson Rattenbury
Contractor: Duncan Farquhar McCrimmon

1648 Rockland


This two-storey, hip-roofed house has a front-facing gabled extension with decorative bargeboards and original wood-pegged half-timbering above a cutaway bay. The front entry to the left is below a balustraded balcony. The balcony and half-width porch with Tudor arches were redesigned in 1981. A two-storey gabled bay on the right at the rear balances a hip-roofed box bay on the left, both with shingles flared under the stucco. It is thought that the house, the rest of which was clad in drop siding, was stuccoed in roughcast c.1912. Water permit application #605 gives the date of construction as 1894 and the contractor as McCrimmon. Rattenbury’s daughter claimed her father as the architect, but it has not been proven.


1894-97, 1901-04: Alan Southey Dumbleton (b. Wynberg, SA 1863-1937) and Mabel Constance (née Cookes, 1876- 1959), daughter of a British Army Maj.-Gen, married in 1890 in Cheltenham, ENG. In 1891 they had architect Cornelius J. Soule design a house on Belcher St, now 1731 Rockland Av (extant), but soon sold it to F. Walter Galpin. In 1894 they built Newholme on land split off from his parents’ Rocklands estate (1750 Rockland Av, demolished), after which the street was named. The 1894 Land Registry shows the transfer from Alan’s father Henry to Mabel, who took out mortgages to build the house, but Henry paid the assessments until 1904. [Henry Dumbleton (b. Bagshot, Surrey, ENG 1821-1909) met Clara Marian Garcia (b. George, Cape of Good Hope 1827-1915) in South Africa. They came to Canada in 1886.] Their son Alan went to Marlborough College, ENG, came to Victoria in 1887, and was admitted to the BC bar in 1890. In 1898-1900 Alan and Mabel lived at Rocklands with his parents.


Tenants: 1898-1900: John Murdock Campbell, BCER assistant manager.

1905: Royal Bank manager George Aiken Taylor, The Grove.

1907-08: Arthur Davis, The Grove.

Owners: 1906-48: Malcolm “Bruce” Jackson (b. Woodville, ON 1873-1947) and Lilian Gertrude (née Edwards, b. Surrey, ENG 1874-1950). Bruce Jackson paid the 1906 taxes and the 1908 plumbing permit. In 1880 his family moved to Winnipeg. He got his law degree from the University of Manitoba in 1908, then moved to Victoria. Bruce, a barrister, became Kings Counsel. He was MLA for The Islands in 1916- 24, and was chairman of the BC Game Conservation Board. The Jacksons’ son, Hugh Arthur Bruce Jackson joined the CEF in 1916 when he was 17. He was a 2nd Lt, RAF, when he died in June 1918; he was buried in Essegney, France.

1948-49: Frank and Hilda Jeffries. 1950-57: Aubrey Walker (b. Sheffield, ENG 1892-1957) and Hilda (née Young, b. Royal Leamington Spa, ENG 1895-1991) lived in Shanghai, China for 28 years, and were probably interned in Japanese prison camps during WWII. They came to Victoria c.1949, and ran Walker’s Art Store, China Repairs & Art Supplies, then A. Walker & Co, importers of plywoods & veneers. Aubrey was a member of Shanghai’s Sinim Lodge, AF&AM. The Walkers subdivided the house.

Tenant: 1950-55: Ethel “Hope” MacMinn (née Atwater, b. Boston, MA 1894-1982), widow of bank manager Earle George MacMinn (1759 Rockland Av).

1966-2014: James Armstrong Munro and Alice Ann Laidlaw met at the University of Western Ontario, married in 1951, and moved to Vancouver, where Jim worked at Eatons. In 1963 they moved to Victoria and opened Munro’s Books on Yates St. Alice wrote short stories and worked at the shop in the afternoons. In 1968, her first published book won the Governor General’s Award. Jim and Alice separated in 1972. Alice Munro has since published a number of books, and has won many awards, including the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature as a “master of the contemporary short story.”

Jim remarried in 1976, to renowned fibre artist Carole Sabiston. She has received many honours, including the Saidye Bronfman Award for Canada for Excellence in Art in 1987 and the Order of British Columbia in 1992. In 2014 the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria held a retrospective of her work. In 1984 Jim bought and restored the 1909 Royal Bank building at 1108 Government St for Munro’s Books. Columnist Allan Fotheringham has called it “the most magnificent bookstore in Canada.” Jim retired on August 31, 2014, and gave the business to four of his employees. He was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 2014.


• 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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