Baron Von Mackensen House
9564 192 Streeet, Surrey, British Columbia, V4N, Canada
Baron Von Mackensen House
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Baron Von Mackensen House is a two storey, wood-frame, Late Victorian house with Edwardian additions, now located on the main pedestrian street in Port Kells, Surrey.
The Baron Von Mackensen House is valued for its representation of the early development of Port Kells, conceived as a fresh water port on the banks of the Fraser River. The townsite was laid out in 1889, and two years later became a stop on the New Westminster Southern Railway. Development was sporadic, but there was hope that the area would benefit from the Canadian National Railway's development initiatives at nearby Port Mann. These grandiose plans failed to materialize and the area remained primarily agricultural until the construction of the Trans Canada Highway in the 1960s facilitated industrial development in the area.
The house is significant for its association with Baron Carl Von Mackensen, a German national, who purchased the Bryce family home in 1910. The house became the focus of social activity in the Port Kells area, with many occasions celebrated there, including an annual Christmas party. Baron Von Mackensen was well liked by the community until the First World War broke out. Rumours arose about his spying activities, and the Baron was interned at Vernon, B.C. and his property was confiscated and sold. In July 1919, he was deported to Germany.
The house is valued as a grand manor house from the early twentieth century. The original section of the house was initially constructed by the Bryce family at the turn of the twentieth century. Under the ownership of Baron Von Mackensen, the house was enlarged with the addition of the large east-west wing. The addition included a landmark nine metre tall square bell tower, complete with bell. Located on the high point of the property, the house dominated the surrounding area. Inside, an open central hall with a grand staircase led off to the home's sixteen rooms. Adding to the speculation of Von Mackensen's spying activities were the internal passageways between rooms, which connected through communicating closets.
Source: Heritage Planning Files, City of Surrey
Key elements that define the heritage character of the Baron Von Mackensen House include its:
- location at the top of a rise, prominent in the area;
- form, scale and massing as exemplified in the two storey, irregular shape;
- combination of Late Victorian and Edwardian style and detailing;
- asymmetrical roofline: partially hipped roof with gabled south elevation; gable dormers; square bell tower; flared dormer eaves; and hipped roofs over two bay windows on south floor main elevation;
- gabled entrance porticos with flared eaves on south and west elevations;
- wood shingle cladding: mostly coursed, with staggered shingle pattern on the upper portion of the second-storey west elevation; fish-scale patterning in the gable ends on the south and west porticos; and alternating fish-scale and diamond patterning in the south gable end;
- fenestration, including: double-hung 1-over-1 wood-sash windows; and paired wood-sash casement with single transom above;
- two internal corbelled brick chimneys; and
- surviving interior features, including passageways between interior rooms through closets.
Local Governments (BC)
Local Government Act, s.954
Community Heritage Register
1910/01/01 to 1915/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
Function - Category and Type
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Heritage Planning Files, City of Surrey
Cross-Reference to Collection