George Lawrence House
18431 Fraser Highway
George E. Lawrence House
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The George Lawrence House is a modest one-and-one-half storey wood-frame vernacular residence. The house features a side-gable roof with a cross-gable roof dormer, wooden drop siding and whalebone bargeboards. It is situated in the historic Clayton area in the City of Surrey, British Columbia.
Built in 1908, the George Lawrence House is significant as a good example of an early homestead with modest vernacular features in the Clayton neighbourhood of the City of Surrey, British Columbia. The George Lawrence House is also valued as a tangible reminder of Surrey's agricultural roots.
The George Lawrence House has historical value as one of the few extant buildings of its type in Surrey and for its association with the farming and ranching practices of the late 1800s and early 1900s, which were fuelled by the agriculture-dependent economy of the Fraser Valley. After the New Westminster South Railway laid track in Surrey in 1891, development increased as more families arrived from Europe and Western Canada to settle in the lowland area. The arrival of the Great Northern Railway in 1909 established the area as a successful rural community, a reputation that was furthered by the creation of the B.C. Electric Railway interurban line in 1910. The George Lawrence House was built in 1908 at the height of the development boom in the Clayton area, and quality materials, good craftsmanship, and minimal architectural embellishment characterize its construction. The George Lawrence house is typical of farmhouses of the era, few of which remain in Surrey.
The George Lawrence House is also significant for its association with Surrey pioneer and farmer George Lawrence (1855-1940). Born in Scotland in 1855, George Lawrence travelled to Canada in 1886 and made his way to British Columbia, settling in Surrey in 1888. After farming the land for a few years, Lawrence ventured into politics and was Councillor of Hall's Prairie from 1905 to 1906. In 1907 the Lawrence family logged and cleared a large parcel of land along Yale Road, and in 1908 they constructed their homestead. George Lawrence was an influential and well-known man in the early days of the development of Surrey; he was involved in ranching, farming, and growing fruit. In the 1920s George Lawrence began subdividing the land on which his homestead was located, selling the sections off to soldiers returning home from the First World War. Lawrence died in his house on November 19, 1940, only eight days after his 85th birthday. The house remains as a reminder of his contribution to the importance of agriculture in the history of the City of Surrey.
Source: City of Surrey, Planning Files
Key elements that define the heritage character of the George Lawrence House include its:
- location on the original parcel of land along what is now the Fraser Highway
- rural residential form, scale, and massing as expressed by its one-and-one-half storey height, medium pitched side-gable roof with cross-gable dormer at the front, and entrance porch with shed roof at the front entrance
- wood-frame construction with wooden drop siding and cornerboards
- Vernacular farmhouse influences such as its simple square plan, whalebone bargeboards, and closed soffits
- original window openings and wooden window frames
Local Governments (BC)
Local Government Act, s.954
Community Heritage Register
1940/01/01 to 1940/01/01
1925/01/01 to 1925/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Extraction and Production
- Peopling the Land
Function - Category and Type
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
City of Surrey, Planning Files
Cross-Reference to Collection