Heritage Register

534 St. Charles Street (ex-504 St. Charles St)

Built 1907; 1955
Heritage-Designated 1985

For: James & Nora Grahame;
Montague & Nancy Tyrwhitt-Drake

Architects: Francis Mawson Rattenbury (1907)
Wade, Stockdill & Armour (1955)


This two-storey house has several Rattenbury traits: the imposing height, the multiple hipped rooflines, wide eaves, and shingled walls below half-timbering and roughcast stucco. A prominent belt course separates the two floors. The garden façade on the left side has a flat-roofed dormer between two full-height box bays; the garden entrance between the lower bays has a flared, hipped roof. In 1955 a second floor addition was added on the rear. The small door on the right side has always been the main entrance. The street façade has a wide box bay above a narrower box bay. Small, shingled hoods shade the lower windows, many of which have horns and leaded transoms. The foundation is of stone, and the two chimneys are corbelled. Subdivision of the property has hemmed in the house.


1907-33: James Ogden Grahame (1851-1944) was born at the HBC post at Fort Vancouver, WA, where his father, HBC factor James Allan Grahame, was in charge for several years before the US gained control. In 1874 James Sr was Chief Commissioner of the HBC in Canada, and James Jr was his secretary. He was an HBC manager when he retired. James Ogden’s first marriage, in 1878 in Winnipeg, was to Harriet Thomas, youngest daughter of HBC Chief Factor Thomas Thomas. She presumably died, or they divorced. In 1883 James married Hamilton, ON, native Nora Goodchild Sadleir (1863-1933), in Winnipeg. They came to BC soon after. The Grahames lived in this house until Nora died in 1933. James was living in the Glenshiel Hotel when he died.


The house was vacant in the late 1930s.

1943-52: Harry William Walker (1867-1954) and Emma Florence (née Cole, 1862-1947) were born in London, ENG. Harry came to Victoria in 1889 and Emma in 1891, the year they married. Harry retired in 1947 after 30 years as a grocer. 1953-82: Judge Montague L. Tyrwhitt-Drake (b. 1922) and his wife Nancy (née Lang, b. 1922) commissioned an addition in 1955, designed by Wade Stockdill & Armour. It included a second floor at the rear on top of the kitchen and the cook’s quarters.


• 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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