Abstract: Gibsons Home Inspector notes on a vintage house and what it tells us about the history of the area and development of lower Gibsons, which was originally called Gibsons Landing.
Photo: View of Gibsons harbour from a century old house.
South Fletcher Road still has a few of these pioneer homes, from a time that Gibsons was called Gibson’s Landing. Upper Gibsons did not exist. It was a time of the very first municipal developments of streets. Small shopkeepers had just established themselves including a bakery, post office, delivery service and drug store.
Standing on this particular lot in 1925 and looking out onto the harbour, the view would have been very different from today. There was the dock for the passenger-only ferry, operated by Union Steamship Lines, and a large fleet of fishing vessels anchored off-shore.
The initial wave of loggers and mills were by now well established busy producing plywood, dimensional lumber including roofing shingles and shakes.
First Growth Timber
This house would have been built with first growth timber. The best opportunity to see the construction methodology of that era is in the unfinished earthen basement and in the attic space. The basement had foundations built with any readily available material including earth, rocks, timbers and even concrete. The interior was sheeted with thin plywood paneling. The attic revealed that the exterior asphalt shingles on the roof had been applied over the original cedar shake wooden roof.
The home inspection was an opportunity to see 100 year old residential building methods. The good news is that this house is still very livable even today.
Locally sourced produce and material is in vogue, big time. We all want to be good stewards of our environment by creating the smallest footprint or impact on resources. Here we have an example of a house that is all that. What’s old is new again!