Ridgeway Place, Moodyville, Knob Hill: these are all long-gone names for the area of the North Vancouver subdivision East of St. Davids Ave. and South of 2nd Street. This collection of approximately 80 homes has an interesting history and as recently as the mid 1950’s the entire area was occupied by only one, albeit rather large, home.
(above: The Big House. HAUNTED MUCH?)
The area in question was once the upper reaches of the Moodyville community built around the sawmill industry and dating back to the 1860’s. In 1879 a large home was built on what was called “Knob Hill” at approximately the middle of the current 500 block of East 1st Street which eventually became known simply as the “Big House”. This would serve as the home of the company manager over the years and was surrounded by other residences and a school until the mill was closed in 1901. The entire property was acquired in 1902 by John Hendry and BC Mills Timber and Trading, but the mill was never re-activated. Hendry avoided absorption by the new City of North Vancouver in 1907 and the property remained it’s own entity until 1925 when Moodyville officially joined the City.
It was around this time that the “Big House” was finally demolished. In 1927 the low-level road and rail line was built right through the middle of the Moodyville mill site. The entire slope that most of the old townsite was built on was removed, taking with it all traces the original Moodyville. The property that remained above the slope was bought by Jack Pattison (no relation to Jim) in 1942. He would build the Pattison Estate (pictured below in 1952) a sprawling manicured property complete with tennis court and swimming pool.
By the late 1950’s, the entire property was acquired by the City and Pattison’s Estate was removed. Beginning in 1959 the current homes were built under the name Ridgeway Place. In the 1952 photo of Pattison Estate, it’s interesting to note that the bus depot on 3rd Street between St. Davids and Ridgeway is pictured. The depot is still in operation utilizing the original building to this day.
Thanks to Janet Turner of North Vancouver Museum Archives for her great assistance.