Page 24

24

June 2011

On The Street Where We Live

Part 5

by The Hainsworths

A

s mentioned in Part 4, last month, every year, we participate in house detective work as part of our research & writing, doing illustrations for the New Westminster Heritage Preservation Society’s (NWHPS) annual Heritage Homes Tour. Each year since 1979, the NWHPS Heritage Homes Tour & Tea organizes twelve or more local homes & buildings to open their doors to the public. Our image this month by Katherine is one prepared for this year’s tour, and is the Sidney & Marion Fletcher House, at 117 Third Avenue.

Illustration by K. Freund-Hainsworth This 1889 Colonial Revival Style home features a simple front gabled form of the Pioneer Tent, with addition of the cross gable and gabled dormer. Originally it was one of a mirrored pair with 115 next door, built by buildercontractor George Turnbull, where Turnbull lived until his passing in 1943. Pelham Street (renamed as Third Avenue in 1892), was at this time considered to be on the outskirts of New Westminster, still transforming itself from a city of wood to one of brick & stone. The twin home aside remains a Pioneer Style home, and these official dates make both homes amongst the oldest in the city. In the spring of 1889, 117 Pelham Street’s first ownerresidents were Sidney Ash Fletcher and Marion Ada (nee Fisher). In 1882, Sidney moved to Victoria from his home in Quebec City, and in 1883 married his Quebec

sweetheart, Marion. During this time he had been working on the office staff of the Honourable Sir Joseph Trutch, Dominion Land Commissioner and former Lieutenant-Governor. When the Land Office opened in New Westminster in 1886, Sidney transferred there. Later in his career he became New Westminster’s Provincial Assessor and Tax collector. After this, he worked another 24 years as a bookkeeper & accountant. He even occasionally wrote freelance for the British Columbian. Marion, active in the St. Barnabas Branch of the Women’s Auxiliary to the Missionary Society of the Church of England in Canada, served a time as its president. From 1886-1889, the family had rented two previous homes along Pelham Street — the first from John S. McDonnell of the Dominion Land Office staff, and the second from James Cunningham, hardware merchant. Pelham Street was at this time considered a home on the outskirts of New Westminster, still transforming itself from a city of wood to one of brick and stone. At this time, according to the diary scrapbook of S.A. Fletcher preserved at the New Westminster Museum & Archives, “Queens Park was in a state of nature, with trails running across it between stumps and fallen timber.” Their daughter, Marion Ethel, married Harry Percival Latham in 1907, and the couple moved into 117 in 1928, to live alongside her father Sidney after his wife passed away in 1922 at the age of 65 years — just 11 days after their 39th anniversary. Harry, born 1877 in Toronto, was the son of a noted landscape gardener and florist who had practiced his trade in Toronto, before moving west and settling in and resuming his business in Sapperton. Here Harry grew up, and as an adult began a 17 year career in the New West municipal government rising from a messenger boy to city treasurer, only to leave at the start of his real estate & insurance business. He was also a member of the city’s own world champion lacrosse teams in 1889 & 1900. They had four children, inherited 117 in 1934, and lived in the home until Harry’s retirement in 1943. Since 1989, the current owners have done extensive restoration and renovation, both returning the home to its former glory after the 1970s and 80s additions of a wraparound porch, kitchen, family room and bathroom, and back garden. Original features include the exterior gabledpeaks, which still exhibit original fish-scale shingles, CPR siding, and original interior features remaining include

Serving Smiles to the Lower Mainland

Piffle Magazine 2011-06  

In this issue: Citizens' Coalition supporting Honour House, Modern Home Furnishings tells their local story, Paddlewheels on the Fraser in P...

Piffle Magazine 2011-06  

In this issue: Citizens' Coalition supporting Honour House, Modern Home Furnishings tells their local story, Paddlewheels on the Fraser in P...

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