Kew House

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Front Street

Kew House is a single storey wood frame house built in 1912 located the east side of Front Street in North Quesnel, BC. The historic place includes the building and the parcel of land it occupies.

Heritage Value
Kew 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 was built for William Vaughan, Alfred Vaughan’s brother and next-door neighbour, who called it ‘The Dh-Dhrop-In Lodge’. He was a partner in his brother’s insurance and realty business. William was a Sergeant Major in the 6th Canadian Machine Gun Company during WWI. After the war ended, William returned to Quesnel and worked for the Soldier Settlement Board. William lived here for nineteen years. The Vaughan family is recognized for their contribution to the development of the community with streets named in their honour.

The house is named for James and Sarah Beatrice (Strand) Kew in who purchased the house in 1931. James arrived in the Cariboo in 1924 from Ontario. He was involved in placer mining, prospecting, trapping and guiding and had a trap line on the old Goat River Trail. He became the Fisheries Inspector for the Federal Government for the Cariboo-Chilcoltin region from 1936 to 1964. Jim married Beatrice Strand in 1931 and moved into this house. Beatrice was the daughter of pioneers, John and Mary Strand.

James served in WWI and was a member of Branch 94 of the Royal Canadian Legion. He was also a member of the Masonic Lodge. Beatrice was active in the community as well. She was a member of the Legion Ladies Auxiliary, Anglican Church Ladies Aid, and the G. R. Baker Hospital Auxiliary. In the 1950s, Beatrice was a volunteer librarian when the library was located in the old log school on the northeast corner of the present location of Helen Dixon School. James and Beatrice lived in this house for thirty-three years. In 1964 they sold the house and moved to their seasonal home at Bowron Lake. Jim died in 1968 and Beatrice died in 1981.

Character-Defining Elements
The character-defining elements of the Kew House include:

  • a single storey wood frame house with features common in style to other houses built in Quesnel during the early 1900s;<\li>
  • a rectangular shaped structure with windows on all sides;<\li>
  • an attic space window at the peak of the gable roof;<\li>
  • a style that is complimentary to its surroundings;<\li>
  • a similar scale, proportion and exterior to its neighbouring houses;<\li>
  • decorative corner, window, and cornice trim;<\li>
  • a sympathetic porch addition in 1948.<\li>