BCHF News Plaque commemorates oldest house in Vancouver’s Grandview

Plaque commemorates oldest house in Vancouver’s Grandview

The Fall 2017 issue of British Columbia History (Vol. 50 No. 3) included a story about the oldest existing house in Vancouver’s Grandview-Woodland neighbourhood: 1350 Graveley Street, originally built around 1899 and moved two times over the years (“The house that wouldn’t fade — its front door never faced south” by Donato Calogero, page 17).

In August 2017, story contributor Donato Calogero, whose family currently owns and lives in the house, sent us this update…

On July 22, 2017, the Grandview Heritage Group (a group working to preserve and recognize the built, natural and cultural heritage of Grandview and Commercial Drive) celebrated the history of the house at 1350 Graveley Street with a plaque presentation. (See photos at right, courtesy Jak King.) The “oldest house in Grandview” was built in 1899 or 1900 and moved twice to reach its current location.

Descendants of the home’s original builders and occupants, Thomas and Margaret Wheeling, attended the celebration, including the Wheelings’ granddaughter, two great-granddaughters and a great-great-granddaughter. Some of these descendants travelled from California to attend the ceremony.

Also in attendance were Grandview Heritage Group members, neighbours, friends and guests — including the authors Jak King (The Drive: A Retail, Social and Political History of Commercial Drive, Vancouver, to 1956, 2011) and Michael Kluckner (Vanishing Vancouver: The Last 25 Years, 2012; Vancouver Remembered, 2006; and more).

After the plaque presentation, the home’s current owners, the Calogero family, welcomed attendees into 1350 Graveley Street for refreshments of Italian espresso and biscotti followed by tours of the 117-year-old house.

The new plaque at 1350 Graveley Street is flanked by, from left to right, Bonnie Rankin (Wheeling), great-granddaughter of the home’s original owners, Bonnie’s mother Grace Rankin, and Donato Calogero, whose family currently owns the house. Photo: Penny Street.

The Wheelings’ great-granddaughter Bonnie Rankin also shared a story about the Wheeling children shooting pheasant from the house in the early 1900s, when the house was located at 1200 East 1st Avenue on the eastern shore of False Creek. View the video (courtesy Donato Calogero).

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The “Oldest House in Grandview” shown in its three locations over the years. From left to right: 1200 East 1st Avenue (1899–1937); 1726 Clark Drive (1937–1955); 1350 Graveley Street (1955–present). Photos: City of Vancouver, CVA 447-107 (left); City of Vancouver, CVA M-13-20 (centre); Donato Calogero (right)