Harry Joyce House is a pleasant one-and-a-half storey house built in 1910 located on a hilltop on the east side of Front Street in North Quesnel, BC. The historic place includes the building and the parcel of land it occupies.
Harry Joyce House is located in North Quesnel which is an older residential neighbourhood in the city. While not in its original form, the house is a physical reminder of the people who shaped the development of Quesnel.
The house is named for Harry Culling Joyce who was born in Wales in 1876 and came to Quesnel in 1907. Harry became a well-known contractor and built many of the buildings in the early days of Quesnel. Harry was the one of the first people to cross the Fraser River on the new cable ferry in 1910 with Captain D. A. Foster and Red Unland. Harry married Clara Baker in 1910. Clara was the daughter of pioneers, August and Cecilia Baker of West Quesnel. Since the house is located across the street from the hospital, Clara often cared for pregnant women who lived outside of Quesnel when they were close to their delivery date.
Harry Joyce owned a sawmill that supplied much of the lumber for the many buildings he constructed. He built the Occidental Hotel that was unfortunately destroyed in the 1916 fire like many of the other buildings he constructed along Front Street such as J. A. Fraser’s General Store. One of Harry Joyce’s buildings is the Hoy House on Barlow Avenue which, at the time, was the most modern house in Quesnel and the first one to have a stucco exterior. In addition to building Hoy House, Harry also built the United Church and the first curling rink. Harry died in 1938. Clara lived in this house for fifty years until her death in 1970. Baker Creek in West Quesnel is named in honour of Clara’s family.
The character-defining elements of the Harry Joyce House include:
- the original 1910 form and characteristics are still evident today even though some renovations have occurred;
- its location and siting on a raised lot adds to its importance as a landmark in Quesnel;
- a wood frame house with shingle siding and modest decoration;
- an L-shape design;
- many six-over-six windows;
- a sympathetic glazed addition was made in 1952.