Thursday, August 7, 2014

Labour of Love - 6892 Lougheed Hwy. Agassiz

This is a story about a turn of the century Victorian and a number of love affairs...

6892 Lougheed Agassiz© Stephen Mullock

In the year of 1909,  a most remarkable structure arose across from the Dominion Agricultural Research Station in the budding community of Agassiz, B.C.  A two-storey house was nearing completion for the newly married Evan and Alice Probert.  Evan helped run the nearby Bella Vista Hotel in Agassiz while Alice taught school in the Harrison Mills, Agassiz and Rosedale communities. It must have been a struggle, especially for Alice, as a ferry boat ride was needed back then to cross the Fraser river and get to Rosedale.  Still they had a beautiful new house to return to at the end of the day's work. An upper middle class dwelling having a little over 1900 square feet on two finished floors with a full basement beneath; it provided a comfortable home reminiscent of the Montreal and Victoria dwellings Evan and Alice had grown up in.  They would call the house "Hochelaga" a St. Lawrence Iroquoian village word and an area close to McGill in Montreal, Canada. A stained glass window above the main entry area with the word "Hochelaga" still greets visitors to its doorstep.  The Agassiz Museum has and sometimes displays tiny Alice's wedding dress, who is shown on the porch in the next picture.

Hochelaga 1909 ©

Successive generations of Proberts would live here until 2000 making an effort to modernize the structure. The roomy "double sized lot" of 100x132 would provide a bounty of flowers, fruits and vegetables. The house would be lifted onto a new foundation at some point, low maintenance vinyl siding would be installed, the upper balcony at the front of the house would be eliminated and the veranda enclosed. Back in 2000, I wrote this ad "Built in 1909 to celebrate a new marriage and move to Agassiz, this house is called "Hochelaga". This fine lady features 9' ceilings, original door casings, 8" baseboards, a pantry. Looking for someone to restore her".  Greg and Lorna responded.

Hochelaga 2000 ©

Greg and Lorna approached the home's restoration with both vigour and a sensitivity to the home's design strengths. A bit of a love affair with the dwelling. First, the vinyl siding was removed, and, much to the delight of the new owners, the original wood shingles were revealed to be in good shape just needing a paint job. A lot of effort was needed to bring back an exterior similar to the 1909 photograph.  A new heavy "50 year" shingle roof with a sculpted edge adds an interesting detail. 

Hochelaga 2014 ©

The energy efficiency of single pane windows was an issue and with this, Greg and Lorna made a wise decision. Instead of ripping them out and installing new vinyl or aluminium sash windows, custom made storm windows were ordered, made and hung. The energy efficiency of the house was also enhanced with a heat pump, which provides both air conditioning and heating. Today average utility cost for electricity and natural gas combined runs a very reasonable $200 a month. 

Room by room this house has been thoughtfully and carefully improved. Here are the stunning results and just a taste of what's inside:

All pictures © Stephen Mullock

This house has a happy past and a promising future thanks to the care and attention that has gone into this labour of love.

Imagine living here....

Stephen Mullock
is an award winning full-time real estate specialist with 30 years of experience and hundreds of sales. Thinking of buying or selling real estate in the Fraser Cheam communities of Chilliwack, Agassiz or Harrison Hot Springs? Contact Steve (click here) of Royal LePage Wheeler Cheam Realty for experience, local knowledge and friendly service you’ll be happy you did.

1 comment:

  1. I love this house. Thanks for the photo tour. Wish I had the money to buy it :)