One of the more obscure heritage landmarks of Lower Lonsdale is also one of the oldest and over the years, the most versatile: The Hamersley House at 350 East 2nd Street.
Below: Hamersley House under construction in 1904, looking North East. Note the vast forest of stripped trees in the background.Built from 1902 through 1904, it was the home of Colonel Alfred St.George Hamersley, the first City Solicitor of the City of Vancouver. Originally named Langton Lodge, the two-and-a-half story manor was surrounded by a large estate of gardens, creeks and fifty maple trees which extended from 3rd Street down to 1st Street. The expansive estate also included a gardener’s cottage which was built in 1904 and is still standing at 364 East 1st Street.
Colonel Hamersley himself had been named Solicitor in 1890 and also owned the North Vancouver Ferry & Power Company which established regular ferry service across Burrard Inlet. Upon completion of his new residence he became one of the earliest commuters between North Vancouver and Vancouver. The house itself was constructed with foundations of cut granite blocks with concrete walls 19 inches thick. This was the earliest example of the use of concrete above grade in the entire Lower Mainland. In 1906 Hamersley would return to England and the large estate was broken up. Currently, on the west side of the gardener’s cottage is Hamersley Park which still shows some of the original landscape specimens.
In 1906, the house was purchased for use as a private hospital, and would in time be used as a boarding house, a municipal hospital and a rest home. In 1977 the City of North Vancouver took over ownership and the house was converted into a restaurant. It would become vacant in 1997 until it was privately purchased in 2001. The building and remaining grounds were completely renovated and returned to their former glory. Hamersley House is now used as a private residence and a bed and breakfast.