Friday, September 9, 2011

Mosing along the Mole

We have now walked west along Comox Street then made a left turn and proceeded south on Bute. Now we have turned left again and are walking east on Pendrell Street. A lot of history in this square block!

These Victorian houses are at 1157, 1159, 1163, 1169 and 1173 Pendrell Street. 1157 to 1159 were built in pairs by Alex Bethune, a sort of jack - of -all - trades in 1898 and 1899. Bethune was an interesting fellow and lived a varied life. He was born in 1852 in Peterborough, Ontario and married Mary McIntosh at Pilot Mound, Manitoba in 1882. There Bethune had been involved in the hardware and lumber business as well as being Postmaster in Manitou, Manitoba.

In the fall of 1891 Bethune arrived in Vancouver and worked in boots and shoes at Mills and Bethune as well as being involved in building and contracting. Starting in 1894 Bethune was elected as an Alderman several times and became Mayor of Vancouver in 1907.

Bethune lived in 1173 Pendrell and probably built it as well. It is thought to have been built in 1898 but it could have been earlier since there were two young working families, the Pitts and the Powells, renting one of those properties from at least 1891.

In 1898 1147 Pendrell Street was built for Henry de la Vallee Poussin who owned the property. Poussin though may have never lived there  and it isn't known who he was, what he did where he came from or where he went. It is known though that Colin Chisholm and Sarah Ralston and their four children resided here by 1901. This house was surrounded by additions with the original building mostly intact inside.

One addition where 1145 Pendrell is today was attached between this building and 1145 across the front of both buildings. These were built during and at the end of WWII as war industry jobs attracted more people to this city and created a demand for housing.

The addition where this building now stands was poorly done and could not be saved as a stand alone building. By this stylistically sympathetic new building was built on the same spot.

This Victorian home resembles the 'painted ladies' of San Francisco and is a rare gem in Vancouver. It was built in 1898 for Nelson Martin. Martin was born in Scotland and came to Canada at the age of 21. He served in the Canadian Home Guard and was in Winnipeg during the Reil Rebellion.

Not long after the Great Fire of 1886 Nelson moved to Vancouver and worked as a plasterer. He helped construct the first Hotel Vancouver at Georgia and Granville Streets as well as other large city buildings during that time. At one time Martin worked as a plasterer for several homes on Sea and Lulu Islands (now Richmond) and to get there he had quite a journey! He would walk to Eburne, now Marpole and then row across the Fraser River. Presumably he would do the same in reverse to get home in the evening. It's no wonder this was named the Martin Walk.

This house is also noted for being the home to the first French Consul in Vancouver at the end of the 19th century. The Consul, Baron de St. Laurent, lived there with his wife Eva who was a Canadian from Quebec.

I have more to show you on Mole Hill but have run out of room for today. Until next time I hope you find the beauty around you.

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