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Hamsterley Farm Water Tower

2485 Sinclair Road, Saanich, British Columbia, V8P, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1997/11/03

Exterior view of the Hamsterley Farm Water Tower, 2004; District of Saanich, 2004
Oblique view
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Other Name(s)

Hamsterley Farm Water Tower
Tower of Jam
The Pease Jam Factory

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1911/01/01 to 1916/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2004/11/10

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Hamsterley Farm Water Tower is a shingle-sided, wood-frame building with an L-shaped plan. At the junction of the arms is the supporting tower, which once carried the water tank, topped with cladding of rough weatherboard. It is located in the Cadboro Bay area of Saanich.

Heritage Value

The Hamsterley Farm Water Tower is a valuable reminder of the importance of market gardening in Saanich. Built initially to store well water to supply the house of Algernon Henry and Letitia Jean Pease, it is also a reminder of the necessity for individuals to provide their own supply of domestic water in the early years of the twentieth century. With the success of the farm's crop of strawberries the family went into jam production, making the locally popular Hamsterley Farm Strawberry Jam. Strawberries flourished in Saanich and are an important local food product; a Strawberry Festival is still held annually in mid-July.

The water tower is important for its connection with the Pease family. Algernon Henry and Letitia Pease were entrepreneurs, and in addition to their successful jam-making enterprise they made chocolates and candy, owned a chicken farm, made home-made wine, which he marketed during Prohibition, operated tea-rooms, and speculated in land. Algernon was appointed an M.B.E. for his work in establishing the B.C. Salvage Corps in the Second World War. During the War, Letitia Pease was instrumental in starting "Bundles for Britain", which sent new and used clothing to those who had been bombed out in Britain. She also opened the Superfluities Shop, on Government Street in Victoria, where donations of valuables, to be sold for the war effort, were accepted.

This structure is associated with the architect Percy Leonard James (1878-1970), who designed both it and the farmhouse. James had a long and prolific career that demonstrated a versatile talent for design.

From 1933 to 1946, the property was also notable for its then owner, Alice Maud Robertson, who owned Victoria's famous "The Spode Shop". She called her property "Drummadoon." She and her daughter, Margo, were horsewomen, and they had the tower enclosed as a stable, with hayloft and tackroom in the tank section.

Source: Heritage Planning Files, District of Saanich

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the Hamsterley Farm Water Tower include its:
- location at the junction of Haro and Sinclair Roads
- form, scale and massing of the tower and connected wings
- cedar shingle cladding the entire complex up to the level of the second storey
- weatherboard articulating the location of the water tank



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




Architect / Designer

Percy Leonard James



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Planning Files, District of Saanich

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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