Vaughan House is delightful single storey wood frame house built in 1911 located on the northeast corner of Front Street and Bowron Avenue in North Quesnel, BC. The historic place includes the building and the parcel of land it occupies.
Vaughan 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 by well known contractor Harry Joyce in 1911 for the Duke of Sutherland who owned a tract of land in North Quesnel.
The house is named for pioneer Alfred Shepherd Vaughan. Alfred was known locally as Fred. He arrived in Quesnel in 1910 and started his insurance business. Unfortunately, Vaughan Realty was completely destroyed in the fire of 1916. The fire broke out around midnight in the Empress Theatre located in the Cariboo Hotel. Eight buildings were lost including the Cariboo and Occidental Hotels and the Northern Crown Bank.
Fred was involved in many community organizations. He served on the school board for twenty- five years and prior to the incorporation of Quesnel and its first civic election, Fred was appointed clerk on the Board of Commissioners. Fred established the Farmer’s Institute, Co-op and the Canadian Legion. In addition to these organizations, Fred was involved with the Board of Trade, Fraternal Societies, Hospital Board, Quesnel Volunteer Fire Brigade, and the Rod and Gun Club. Fred had fifty shares in the Quesnel Telephone Company in 1913. He was also a Notary Public for forty-five years and provided services at no charge to veterans and pensioners. From 1947 to 1955, Fred was the Magistrate. He moved to Vernon when he retired in 1956 and died in 1969. The Vaughan family is recognized for their contribution to the development of the community with a street named in their honour.
Another owner of the house was Ruth Edith (Gook) Webster who was born in Quesnel in 1922. She was the daughter of pioneers, Major Ernest John and Marjorie Gook. Major Gook was a military man, police officer, and land surveyor in the Cariboo. The Gook family has been involved in surveying and other local businesses in Quesnel for many years. The Gook family is recognized for their contribution to the development of the community with a street named in their honour.
The character-defining elements of the Vaughan House include:
- an interesting example of the style of houses built in Quesnel during the early 1900s;
- a quaint dwelling space now used for commercial activities;
- the original form is evident even though some renovations have been made;
- a glazed addition on the south side of the building with many small paned windows;
- a gable roof;
- horizontal wood siding.