Johnson House is an excellent example of a single storey house built in the 1930s located on the south side of Earley Avenue in West Quesnel, BC. The historic place includes the building and the parcel of land it occupies.
Johnson 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 Thomas William Stennett in the 1930s.
The house is named for Carl Emil and Hilda Gustav (Hendrickson) Johnson in who purchased the house in 1946. Carl was born in 1884 in Sweden. Carl’s parents were in the diplomatic corps and he traveled with them to various locations. At the age of fourteen, Carl decided to go out on his own. He followed the mining industry to the Kootenays where he met Hilda from Finland who had children from her first marriage. The couple worked and lived in various locations until they eventually reached Quesnel in 1924. They had a 160 acre homestead north of Quesnel. Carl worked for the Canadian National Railway cutting ties and also as a miner at Wingdam Mine in Wells, BC. They moved to Wells-Barkerville, BC in 1937 while Carl worked for the Cariboo Gold Quartz Mine. When there were rumours of coal deposits at Lower Bowron River, Carl staked out a claim. In 1946 Carl and Hilda moved to West Quesnel. Hilda died in 1958 and Carl died a decade later. The Johnson family is recognized for their contribution to the development of the community with a street named in their honour.
The character-defining elements of Johnson House include:
- an example of the typical small dwelling units built in Quesnel in the 1930s;
- the original form and characteristics are still evident even though some major renovations occurred in 1954;
- has maintained its original modest appearance;
- its siting on a large treed lot;
- an L-shaped single storey structure with gable roof;
- several windows.