William and Annie Wilson Residence

4585 Arthur Drive
Delta, BC

Built: 1915
 

This large heritage house, which is next door to the Ottewell house, has been to restored to its original state with the exception of an addition to the north side of the house.

Status: Still Standing

Wilson Residence
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To many Ladnerites, this home is known as the Haley Wilson house. It was built in 1915, but the design is almost identical to that of the Parmiter house at 5331 34B Avenue which was built between 1918 and 1919. The two additions on the north side of the house were, of course, from a later period in its history.

The Wilsons' daughter, Winifred, pointed out that the cost of the one acre lot had been $900. Other details known about the construction are that the contract price to J. B. Elliot to build the house, excluding items such as hardware, paint, sidewalk, and fruit closet, was $3400. A more elaborate version of the Craftsman design, this house with its dormer windows and peaked front porch most have presented a very striking image to the street in the days when no hedge was required.

The usual pattern of bedrooms upstairs, five in this case, and living space on the main floor with a full basement underneath applies here. But in this house there has also been some attempt by owners to maintain features of the interior. And so, the wood paneling in the dining room and living room have survived in excellent condition, and the bow window in the dining room looking onto a magnificent, but very sharp-edged, specimen of a monkey puzzle tree. This tree was planted in the middle of the front lawn in 1915 and moved shortly afterwards.

This house has also been secluded behind a huge cedar hedge, a necessary barrier to lessen the effect of traffic along this increasingly busy thoroughfare. But in the first decades of the 20th century, when traffic was scarcely a problem, a house on this street was the ambition of every middle class Ladner business man.

William Hilton Wilson was a partner in Lanning, Fawcett & Wilson Ltd., the general store located on Chisholm Street. He had come to Ladner under the emplot of Thomas McNeely and wound up one of the owners of the firm that succeeded McNeely's General Store. He married Annie McKenzie in 1907, and although they had lived initially on the east side of Georgia Street, he and his wife raised a family of four daughters in this house. He also provided a home for his sister, Mae, but his mother, Rosa Wilson, continued to live on her own in the tiny house on Delta Street that used to be next door to the old Municipal Hall.

Following the Wilson family. the Bakers were here in the 1960s, the Barnetts in the 1970s and 1980s, the Britzes in the early 1990s, and the Kilburns in 1994.