Kitzel House and Root House
216 184 Street, Surrey, British Columbia, V3S, Canada
Kitzel House and Root House
Nicholas/David Kitzel House
David Kitzel Root House
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Kitzel House and Root House site includes a one-and-one-half storey farmhouse, a one-storey root house on a raised stone foundation located to the north of the farmhouse, and associated landscape features. The site is located in a picturesque agricultural setting on a rise of land at the corner of 184 Street and Second Avenue in the Hazelmere area of Surrey. A small stream runs through the property to the north side of the farm compound.
The Kitzel House and Root House are of heritage value as an example of an intact historic Surrey farmstead. The Kitzel House, which consists of a vernacular Frontier house, built in 1890, with a large front addition built in 1916, shows the farm's evolution and adaptation over time as the Kitzel family grew and prospered. The Kitzel Root House, constructed in 1916, is representative of the farm's livelihood, which was primarily the production of sauerkraut. Cabbage for the sauerkraut was stored in the root house before it was processed, packed in barrels, and then shipped to New Westminster by wagon along the Old Yale Road. The building's wartime construction date is an indication of the relative prosperity of local farmers due to the rising cost of produce during the First World War.
The site is also valued for its association with the Kitzel family. Nicholas Kitzel purchased 80 acres of land on 184 Street (originally known as Halls Prairie Road) in 1885. He farmed there with his brother David before returning to Germany in 1895, after which David Kitzel and his large family continued to operate the farm.
The Kitzel House is also valued as an example of both early vernacular construction and Edwardian era architectural expansion. The original portion of the house faced north across the farm property; the large later addition faced west to 184 Street. Typical of late Victorian homesteads, the 1890 portion exhibits simple horizontal massing and a central front-wall dormer that is a hallmark of the Gothic Revival style. The 1916 addition has the broader massing characteristic of Edwardian farmhouses and is larger and taller than the original house. Edwardian-era details, such as fishscale shingles adorn the gables, and there is a large wraparound verandah with chamfered columns.
The Kitzel Root House is valued as an example of a utilitarian agricultural outbuilding, with a partially sunken lower floor and stone foundation walls that would keep produce at cooler temperatures.
The Kitzel House and Root House are also significant for their association with the development of the Hazelmere area. Settlement in the area began in 1860, and by 1879, Hall's Prairie was one of four small communities in Surrey. Before roads were built, access to the area was by the Nicomekl or Serpentine Rivers or by a rough trail. Henry Thrift first settled the area and named his farm 'Hazelmere' after the hazel bushes that grew there. Transportation links were improved in 1891, when the New Westminster Southern Railway was built; the local stop was called Hazelmere. Over the years the agricultural focus shifted to dairy farming, due partly to the completion of the B.C. Electric Railway interurban line in 1910, which had a daily 'milk run' and allowed greater access to markets. The Kitzel farm site is a significant reminder of the farming origins of the Hazelmere community.
Source: City of Surrey Planning Department
Key elements that define the heritage character of the Kitzel House and Root House include their:
- location in the southwest corner of the farm, on a rise of land at the junction of 184 Street and Second Avenue, in an area of similar farmsteads
- continuous use as a working farm
- form, scale and massing of the buildings and their spatial configuration: one-and-one-half storey plus full basement of the Kitzel House; side-gabled roof and steeply-pitched wall dormer of the 1890 house; one-storey plus partially sunken lower floor and front-gabled roof of the Kitzel Root House
- elements of the original 1890 house including: wood-frame construction; wooden drop siding with cornerboards; and double-hung, two-over-two wooden-sash windows divided by wood mullions
- elements of the 1916 addition to the Kitzel House such as: wood-frame construction; wraparound verandah with chamfered columns and half-hipped roof; wooden drop siding with corner boards; boxed eaves with hipped returns in the front gable; alternating bands of diamond and semicircular shingles in gables; bay window on south side of the main floor; double-hung, one-over-one wooden-sash windows arranged in pairs and double-assembly in front gable; and internal corbelled red-brick chimney
- elements of the Root House such as: wood frame construction and rubble-stone foundation; wooden drop siding with cornerboards and trim boards; boxed eaves; square windows in east and west sides of stone foundation and double-hung, multi-paned windows in north gable
- associated landscape features such as a small stream, mature perimeter plantings and surrounding agricultural fields
Local Governments (BC)
Local Government Act, s.954
Community Heritage Register
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Extraction and Production
Function - Category and Type
- Food Supply
- Farm or Ranch
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
City of Surrey Planning Department
Cross-Reference to Collection