Built more than a century ago, the concrete block house on the corner of Reece Avenue and Cook Street was crafted by local builder C.D. Waring, the fourth home Waring had erected on Reece Avenue. The home’s first occupant was George Webb, younger brother of Horatio; an early European settler who came to B.C. during the 1860’s Cariboo gold rush.
In 1910 George Webb and his wife Lottie sold their 40-acre Fairfield Island ranch, auctioned off their livestock and purchased this home on Reece Avenue as a place to retire.
The two-storey home’s lower level is constructed of moulded concrete blocks that were intended to mimic stone, while wood lap siding covers the upper section. Concrete block homes were gaining popularity in Chilliwack during the early 20th century as the blocks were valued for both their fire resistance and lower construction costs.
The roof is topped with an unusual architectural feature. The widow’s walk with its wooden railing that encircles the roof is more commonly found adorning east coast Victorian homes. Legend was that wives of sea captains would stand from this perch and scan the coastal horizon longing for their husband’s safe return from sea. On this home the widow’s walk serves a more practical purpose. The railing provided fall protection when accessing the roof from an inside hatch; meant as a quick way to access the chimney should a fire occur.
Recently re-painted white with black trim, the George Webb house is looking very festive decked out for the holidays. Seasonal garlands & wreaths, and festive red bows & candy canes adorn the 110-year-old house on Reece Avenue.