Constable Anderson House is a charismatic single storey wood frame house built in the 1930s located on the northeast corner of Elliott Street and Earley Avenue in West Quesnel, BC. The historic place includes the building and the parcel of land it occupies.
Constable Anderson House is located in West Quesnel which developed as a rural community with small houses and family farms. The growth of West Quesnel was moderate until a single- lane bridge across the Fraser River was constructed in 1929. The bridge provided a permanent link between the two Quesnel communities. These communities were amalgamated into one city in 1958. In 1971, the two-lane Moffat Bridge was built and growth in West Quesnel increased steadily. While not in its original form, the house is a physical reminder of the people who shaped the development of Quesnel. The house was built by local contractors Harker and Pawsey.
The house is named for Constable David Anderson. Constable Anderson joined the Provincial Police in 1896 and was posted to Quesnel. He ordered the stop of all gambling in the bars under the Provincial law. This ended a long-established social activity of betting a shot of whiskey on a game of cards and checkers. Gambling was mostly tame and social; however some games did occur with the intention of taking a man’s wages. Constable Anderson was a well-respected man in the Quesnel area who allowed his prisoners to work in the community during the day as long as they returned to the jail in the evening. Often he did not handcuff his prisoners since he was known as an excellent marksman.
Constable Anderson was community minded and served on the Hospital Board in 1910. He married Luella St. Laurent who was the daughter of pioneers Joe and Georgina St. Laurent that arrived in Barkerville in the 1860s. Unfortunately, Luella suffered from a lengthy illness and died in 1911. She is buried in the Quesnel Pioneer Cemetery. Luella’s family is recognized for their contribution to the development of the community with a street named in their honour.
Constable Anderson retired from his duties in 1912 to become a contractor and business partner of Harry Joyce. David was involved in the construction of the United Church Manse and St. John the Divine Anglican Church. Later, he married his second wife, Elizabeth Devlin. Elizabeth moved to Quesnel from Ashcroft. David served on the Quesnel School Board, acted as Fire Warden, and organized the Cariboo District Rifle Association. Constable Anderson is recognized for his contribution to the development of the community with a street named in his honour.
The character-defining elements of Constable Anderson House include:
- a rare example of a small dwelling unit built in Quesnel during the 1930s;
- its original single storey L-shaped appearance;
- interesting fretwork in a wavy pattern along the eaves;
- substantially intact structure with wood siding;
- a unique appearance and a warm texture;
- fits the tone for the streetscape of small houses.