James Creighton House
10668 125B Street, Surrey, British Columbia, V3V, Canada
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The James Creighton House is a large, L-shaped wood house built at the beginning of the twentieth century and situated on a steeply sloped, triangular lot on 125B Street, just south of Old Yale Road in the South Westminster neighbourhood of Surrey. The property also contains a shingle-clad outbuilding and the possible remains of other structures. The house is located just above the former BC Electric Railway Interurban Railway right-of-way. It overlooks the Fraser River, with a view of New Westminster.
The James Creighton House is valued for its architecture as a good example of vernacular residential building in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The site illustrates the early phase of development of South Westminster as a suburban community. The house is also associated with a number of residents who have a measure of historical significance.
The house is comprised of two separate sections, representing two traditions of vernacular building. The shallow wing at the rear, with a door facing the driveway, resembles the simple house type that geographers call the I-house. Examples of this design in the Lower Mainland date from the end of the nineteenth century. The main body of the house, with a less steeply pitched gable and a broad porch, represents the common gable-end house type characteristic of the years around 1910. This difference in building styles may indicate that the shallow wing was built around 1894, when James William Creighton (1854/58-1928) purchased the property. A native of England, Creighton had lived in Australia and several other countries, and farmed sheep on Lasquiti Island, before moving to New Westminster in 1890. James Creighton was a coal agent, a provincial assessor, and a tax collector. He owned the property until 1907.
The larger, gable-end wing of the house was likely built around 1910, the year that the BC Electric Railway (BCER) line just below the house went into service and the property was subdivided. Walter James Walker, a Reeve of Surrey and an active property developer, who owned the lot briefly from 1907, may have initiated the addition and the subdivision. The house is also located close to the Old Yale Road and to the bridge (built 1904) from New Westminster. The improved access would have raised land values and justified a large addition. The house illustrates the role of transportation links in adding value to suburban land.
The remains of fruit trees, landscaped terraces, and outbuildings suggest that an early occupant may have had an orchard, some crops (or flowers), and domestic animals.
The longest occupants of the historic place were Joseph Frederick Johnson (1890-1943) and his wife Elena Johnson (née Israelson), who bought it in 1917. J.F. Johnson was a section foreman with the BCER - and the property was conveniently located for him. A later owner, Victor Puchmayr, who lived here with his wife Alice Puchmayr from 1964, was noted as President of the Surrey Lacrosse Association, long-time worker for the New Democratic Party and a longshoreman.
Source: City of Surrey Planning and Development Department
The character-defining elements of the James Creighton House include its:
- dramatic siting on a steep escarpment overlooking the Fraser River and New Westminster
- mature fruit trees and conifers
- remains of stone steps and stone retaining walls in the landscape
- L-shaped plan, with a medium-pitch gabled roof over the main portion and a steeper gabled roof over the shallow wing that extends to the rear
- shingle-clad walls with wood trim at the corners
- stone foundation walls
- one-over-one and two-over-two double-hung, wood-sash windows with broad wood trim
- bay window beneath the gable end
- broad porch below the gable
Local Governments (BC)
Local Government Act, s.967
1910/01/01 to 1910/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Peopling the Land
- Migration and Immigration
Function - Category and Type
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
City of Surrey Planning and Development Department
Cross-Reference to Collection