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Barnum Residence

2625 St. George Street, Port Moody, British Columbia, V3H, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2006/04/11

Exterior view of the livery barn at the Barnum Residence, 2005; City of Port Moody, 2005
South elevation
Exterior view of the Barnum Residence, 2005; City of Port Moody, 2005
Front elevation
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1903/01/01 to 1904/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/03/16

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Located south of Port Moody's historic downtown core, in the residential area of Moody Centre, the Barnum Residence is a one-and-one-half-storey, Edwardian-era, wood-frame house distinguished by its ground floor wraparound verandah and shed-roofed second-storey sleeping porch. The large corner property also includes an early wood-frame carriage barn and a small, square shed.

Heritage Value

Built circa 1903-1904, this modest dwelling is valued as one of the earliest surviving residences in Port Moody. It was built by lumber mill worker, William Ernest Barnum (1868-1933), and the simple and unpretentious design reflects the vernacular nature of working class housing in Port Moody. This house illustrates the importance of the lumber mills in the city's growth and economic development, as they provided employment for many of its residents, as well as the milled wood products used in the construction of local buildings.

The property is unique for the survival of its early outbuildings, including a small shed and carriage (or livery) barn. At the time the property was established, the horse and carriage were the primary means of transportation and outbuildings were required for the storage of equipment, implements and food. There was also a fish-bearing stream that flowed through the property.

The house is also significant for its associations with the Barnum family, early Port Moody settlers. W.E. Barnum, his wife and his four sons lived here until they moved to Pitt Meadows in 1924. Barnum was well-known locally for his automotive inventions, and later used the carriage barn as his workshop. His most significant invention was a gas economizer, which he patented in Canada and the United States.

Indicative of the city's early development patterns, the Barnum Residence sits near the base of the slope directly south of the downtown area, the original limit of residential expansion. The City of Port Moody is naturally constrained by water and steeply sloping topography, and as it grew it expanded southwards up the slopes as far as houses could be easily constructed.

Source: City of Port Moody Heritage Planning Department

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the Barnum Residence include its:
- corner location at Grant and St. George Streets, on a large flat lot
- residential form, scale and massing, as expressed by its one-and-one-half-storey height and irregular, rectangular plan
- side-gabled roof with dual-pitch roof on rear extension, and shed roof over front second-storey sleeping porch
- wood-frame construction and board-formed concrete foundation, clad with wooden drop siding with cornerboards, and shingles in the gable peaks
- exterior features, such as wraparound ground-floor open verandah, with square, banded columns and tongue-and-groove soffits, open, second-storey sleeping porch with shed roof, and exterior door to basement
- double-hung one-over-one wooden-sash windows in single and double-assembly
- interior features that date to the original construction, including fir floors
- associated early wood-frame outbuildings, including a rectangular, gabled-roof carriage barn of heavy timber framing with lapped wooden siding, multi-paned wooden-sash windows and two double-door entries, and a small square shed with gabled roof and wooden drop siding
- associated landscape elements, including a mature horse chestnut tree and other mature plantings



British Columbia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (BC)

Recognition Statute

Local Government Act, s.954

Recognition Type

Community Heritage Register

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Peopling the Land

Function - Category and Type



Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer



William Ernest Barnum

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Port Moody Heritage Planning Department

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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