Charles and Eva Dobbins Residence

4569 Arthur Drive
Delta, BC

Built: 1920

Most people might have preferred to pass by this tiny house in its later years, tucked in between two more imposing houses. It's run down condition was the unfortunate result of continued tenancy and a speculative landlord, but this house, too, saw better days.

Status: Demolished in 2011

Dobbins Residence - 2007
click photo to enlarge
In 1920 this modest home was built for Charles Dobbins, the principal at King George V High School, and his wife, Eva. They arrived in Ladner in September 1918 and stayed until June 1923. In September of that year, he took a position at T. J. Trapp Technical School in New Westminster and remained there until his retirement in 1940 and his death in September of that same year.

This was a neat little house, with a dormer window on the second floor or attic, and the work most likely of the builder of the Vernon Taylor house. Charlie Dobbins continued to own this house house until his death, but it was rented out to a number of families. Andy Muir and his family took it in 1929 and probably remained there for several years. The Muirs had lived previously in the Calvert house on Bridge Street and moved here after that property was sold for use as the site of a service station. Renters certainly had no security in those days.

Other tenants followed, until Fred Watts and his wife, Muriel, nee Wright, moved here, becoming the owners in 1942. Fred was the proprietor of Watts Electric and he ran his electrical appliance repair business from a store at 48th Avenue and Elliot Street. The Watts continued to live in this house at least for the next twenty years. Fred died in 1962 and Muriel remained here for some time afterwards.

The shabbiness of the house in it later days was accentuated by the fact that it was situated between two very striking homes.