Monday, September 5, 2011

More Mole Hill

This is another house in Comox Street in Mole Hill. It doesn't look as old as some I have shown you and that's because it isn't. This home was built in 1950 but the original Victorian house was likely built by Edward Hobson - the builder of 1170 Comox in 1898. It is thought that the house that was first built here was destroyed by fire in 1927 when a blaze occurred at the Royal Alexandra Apartments next door. The lot stayed vacant until 1950 when a philatelist at the Stanley Stamp Co., Fred Eaton, moved in.
During the years of 1905 and 1911 there was an active speculative builder in this area by the name of Peter Agren. He built 1136 and 1140 Comox in 1907. The first residents at 1136 were Agren himself along with an M. Agren, a carpenter and maybe his brother.

1140 was initially home to a contractor named Benjamin Williscroft and his family. Jean Williscroft was a dressmaker and bodice maker who worked at W. Goldbloom while Mabel Williscroft worked at Charles W. Hills and Co. In 1914 William Oscar Black  moved in. Black had been a contractor until the depression of 1913 and was now employed in auto supplies. Black was originally from Orillia, Ontario and was a veteran of the Fenian Raid of 1886.

At 1146 Comox there is a home that was built around 1904. A jeweller by the name of Henry Anstie moved in with his wife Kathleen and children, making this family the original owners and residents. For a long period of time this was not considered a heritage home because it was covered in stucco. But restoration revived this fine example of middle class housing of its period. It is somewhat exotic looking with its hexagonal turret, hipped roof and bell-cast eaves as well as the finely detailed interior trim, casings and stairs.

Remember last week when I told you about the back alley? Here are some photos from there. The houses are so much more intriguing when I can see more of them.

Now I have a slight problem. I took pictures but can't tell the addresses. These houses coming up are on Comox Street and I will just fill you in with the information. I have.


1150 Comox was built in 1903 by John Matheson, an early Vancouver contractor and builder. He later went into business with his son, Robert Matheson, who went on to become a founding partner in Townly and Matheson Architects.

1160 is the oldest house on the block, built in 1888. It is a unique house with large windows and a gorgeous interior.

The top two photos are of 1164 Comox which was built in 1894 for Francis Bowser. It was originally a full city lot. Bowser's brother, William, became Attorney-General and later Premier for BC for most of 1916. However William Bowser was ousted due to various scandals.
There is more to write on Mole Hill and I will have to go back and get pictures of the houses on Comox Street. This time I will make sure to go when the Farmer's Market isn't there.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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