800 – 822 Jackson Avenue

Leonard Sankey came to the three-year-old Vancouver in 1889. He was a carpenter, like his older brother Frank, and first appeared in a street directory in 1891 living on Prior Street. His brother lived across the street. They were from Herefordshire. Their father was Herbert Sankey from Ludlow in Shropshire and their mother Emma Bull from Bullingham in Herefordshire. Leonard was 26 when he married Fannie (christened Frances) Robinson, who was from Nottinghamshire. The were married in Vancouver in 1893, and by the 1901 census there were already four children at home, Vera, Ira, Gladys and Harvey.

Leonard built the $1,000 house at the end, on the corner of Barnard as it was then known, (Union today) in 1904. It was finished in 1905, and the family moved in. Two years later he obtained a permit to add four more houses at the cost of $1,000 each – although they were built as a single unit. The rental building was a simplified version of the Queen Anne style of the house. They both had a complicated gable roof and projecting bays, but his house had extra details like fish scale shingles and carved corner brackets.

We eventually found the family in the 1911 census. All four children were at home, and it looks like four had been enough for them. Most of their names were spelled wrongly, (Gladis, Harvie) and the ink ran out writing ‘Sankey’, but the address confirmed it was the correct family. Leonard was still a carpenter, as he was in the 1921 census when only Harvey, who was 22, was still at home, still a student. Unusually, the family didn’t all agree about religious denominations; Harvey was listed as Baptist, his father as Methodist, and his mother as ‘Christian Science’.

The family moved, first to Grant Street, then to Parker Street, but Leonard continued to own and rent the properties, carrying out repairs in 1922 that required a permit. From 1926 to 1928 his former home was used by the Canadian Jewish Council of Women, who provided a variety of social services to the Jewish community in Strathcona. Frances died in 1937 and Leonard was 97 when he died in 1964. The houses have stayed in single ownership, and have been maintained carefully – as can be seen in our 1978 image.



Posted 5 July 2021 by ChangingCity in East End, Still Standing

Tagged with

%d bloggers like this: