Sandringham – Nelson Street

In 1927 this newly completed apartment block, The Sandringham, managed by Mrs J M McMillan was photographed. We’re reasonably sure that the car was a 1927 Marmon – Hyman, distributed by the Russell, Wilson Motor Co on Granville Street. The apartments were developed by Major General J M McMillan at a cost of $55,000, and designed by Gardiner & Mercer.

General McMillan’s military title wasn’t just honorary; in 1918 he was on a tour of the US with two colleagues under the auspices of the Council of National Defense giving short talks of their experiences at the front. The officers were members of the first expeditionary force. In 1927 he was listed as Lt Col J M McMillan, and was president of Cassiar Packing, (a salmon packing plant on the Skeena River), and lived on West 2nd in Point Grey in a new house that Mrs. McMillan had commissioned, costing $10,000. His home until 1926 was 1857 Nelson, next door to this site, and this was a tennis court. Once he moved, his former house became the Sandringham Annex, with apartments that in 1933 were advertised for a ‘refined person’ and offered hot water – day and night.

John McLarty Macmillan was Scottish, born at Lochranza (on the Isle of Arran) in 1871. He arrived in North America in 1894, involved in the salmon canning business, but then headed to Australia in 1900 where he apparently enlisted in a mounted regiment called the New South Wales Imperial Bushmen, raised to fight in South Africa in the Boer War (although the available Australian official war records don’t list him being on active service).

By 1904 he had moved to British Columbia; marrying Isabella Ewen in her home town, (she was born in New Westminster in 1880). Her father was Alexander Ewen, a prominent salmon canner. At the time John was working for Menzies & Co., Vancouver brokers. There’s no sign of the couple for several years, but in 1911 they passed through New York on their way to Vancouver. That year he was listed as a financial agent ‘of Macmillan and Oliphant’, with Thomas Oliphant, but the partnership was short-lived and Oliphant was working on his own a year later. He was also the secretary-treasurer of the Pacific Whaling Company, which was part of the Mackenzie Mann & Co.’s Canadian Northern Railway interests. At the age of 43, once war was declared, he enlisted with the Canadian Expeditionary Force. He started as a Captain, but by the end of 1915, in France, he was a lieutenant-colonel. He was discharged at the end of 1917, and returned to Vancouver where he worked as a salmon broker. (He tried to enlist in the second war, but when it was discovered that he was nearly 70, he was discharged). He died in 1950, and Isabella in 1975.

The apartment building was replaced in 1977 by West Park, a 4-storey wood frame condo building with 42 units designed with loft spaces by Terry Hale Architects. Andre Molnar’s Realmar Developments carried out the development, which offered ‘Condominiums of the future at affordable prices – today’. Units started at $33,900. Today any that become available fetch a little more than that.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA Bu N257

1143

Posted 30 December 2021 by ChangingCity in Gone, West End

Tagged with ,

%d bloggers like this: