David and Margaret McKee Residence aka "Westholme"

4501 Arthur Drive
Delta, BC

Built: 1906

David McKee purchased the property from William Ladner in 1904 and had this home built the following year, completed in 1906, and gave it the name "Westholme." Where David McKee and his wife, Margaret nee Wallance, lived prior to this is unknown but perhaps it was on their farm in East Delta.

Status: Still Standing

McKee Residence - 2018
click photo for more pictures
The McKees lived here for many years, but eventually as they became elderly, they lived in the city and rented out the house. In 1925 they moved permanently to Vancouver and sold the house to Ladner Lumber Ltd, whose sawmill burned to the ground in 1927. The occupants of the house were the family of Oliver and Katherine, nee Plewes, Murphy. Prior to his association with this firm, Murphy had been the manager of McLellan Saw Mill, built on the site of Delta Saw Mill which had also fallen victim to fire in 1911.

From 1925 to 1955 the Murphys lived here, although in 1945 ownership of the property was transferred into their names. In 1955 James and Louise Crawford were the owners and the property changed hands at least once more before it was converted into a private care facility. Four members of the Lord family, who originated from North Delta, took over this residence in 1964 and turned it into Melodie Court. Subsequent owners have continued this business, although the name has changed in recent years to Delta Lodge.

The original house was huge especially for a married couple with no children. There were 5 bedrooms upstairs with the usual living areas on the main floor. The architectural style is Tudor Revival, with the main surviving characteristic of this style being the decorative half-timbering on the outside walls. The hipped roof, which slopes from the peak on all four sides, and the flat roofed porch are individual variations probably chosen by the McKees.

Once the house became a care facility, some modifications to the interior were required to meet government regulations. At the time the garage was remodelled into living quarters for the nursing staff and the barn was pressed into service for parking and storage. Over the years the landscaping has suffered at times from indifferent care, but through it all the monkey puzzle tree , whose origins cannot be authenticated, has continued to flourish.