Herbert and Susan Wilson Residence

4829 48th Avenue
Delta, BC

Built: 1904
 

For years this was the only house on the north side of this block. In fact, the rest of the property from the house to almost Georgia Street was once a cherry orchard.

Status: Demolished

Wilson Residence - circa 2020
click photos to enlarge
The orchard and house belonged to the Wilsons, Herbert Lyman and Susan Alice. Mrs. Wilson was related to Neil McDiarmid, long-time municipal clerk for Delta in the early 20th century. That family connection probably explains how she and her husband came to be here in Ladner. Mr. Wilson was listed in the BC Directory of 2010 as a "Farmer" but this was undoubtedly farming on a small-scale since there was only one and a quarter acres in this lot.

The Wilson house was rather difficult to see and appreciate, hidden as it was behind an ubiquitous cedar hedge. It was built in 1904 for the Wilsons, who had no children, and they continued to live in it until 1942 when Herbert died. After that, Mrs. Wilson made her home with the McDiarmid family. The house was subsequently owned by various individuals and was rented out in the 1970s.

At some time after World War II, the house was raised and a basement added. A fire in the kitchen at the back and an upstairs bedroom in the early 1980s caused considerable damage but serious restoration efforts to the interior were carried out subsequently by the tenants. The house had an interesting design, with a hipped roof and twin gables. It was also unique for the square nails used in its construction.

The cherry orchard on the property has perhaps remained most vividly in the memory of those who knew the Wilsons. When they sold the fruit, Mrs. Wilson was known to be very generous in the interpretation of weights and measures. An order of ten pounds of cherries was more likely to result in twenty pounds, sold in lard pails. Sydney Eyton, whose family lived across the street, remembered with appreciation the cakes she baked every Saturday.