45 Craig Street, Duncan, B.C.
The building at 45 Craig Street is now Just Jake’s Restaurant, but it was originally built in 1922 by architect Douglas James for Harold Fairfax Prevost (former Mayor of Duncan and Past Master of Temple Lodge, No.33).
The building was originally built in 1922 for Harold Fairfax Prevost, who used it for his stationery and toy business. The building was designed by architect Douglas James and the contractor was E.W. Lee.
At the time this building was constructed , this site was apparently a vacant lot. A livery stable had been on the site previously. We believe that livery stable was the Keast and Blackstock Livery Stable, which burned down in the Great Fire of 1911, which started in the Cowichan Merchants’ building and spread to adjacent structures. This livery stable was operated by Brother Hubert Keast of Temple Lodge, No.33 until Hubert Keast‘s death in 1911.
Harold F. Prevost also served as Mayor of Duncan from 1929-1935. He considered his primary accomplishment as Mayor to have been keeping the City of Duncan‘s finances in stable condition during the Great Depression.
Here are some descriptions of this building taken from local newspapers and historical records:
“Excavations were begun yesterday for the erection of a new store on Craig Street, Duncan, next to the Canadian Bank of Commerce. It is for Mr. H.F. Prevost. Mr. E.W. Lee has the contract. Mr. Douglas James is the architect.”
“NEW BUSINESS PREMISES
Building On Craig Street Will Enhance City’s Appearance
As noted last week, excavations have begun on the site of Mr. H.F. Prevost’s new store on Craig Street, Duncan, adjoining the Canadian Bank of Commerce.
These new business premises will be a decided addition to the buildings of the city. The block is to be 30 feet wide by 60 feet long and it will be constructed of interlocking hollow tile, similar to that used in Mr. C.B. Mains new store. This hollow tile, owing to its air space, makes the building very cool in the summer.
It will be a one floor building on concrete foundations with a small cement basement. It will occupy the whole of Mr. Prevost’s lot. The large plate glass windows will face Craig street and the front will be of buff pressed brick with a gallery across the back.
While making excavations for this building, operations were somewhat hampered, owing to the discovery of a twenty-foot well, just at the back of the bank building. Some years ago the site was used for a livery stable when the well was then is use.
The contract calls for the building to be completed in two months’ time. Mr. Douglas James is the architect and Mr. E.W. Lee is the contractor…..”
(Source: Cowichan Leader, 21 September 1922 from Cowichan Valley Museum & Archives collections)
“Mr. H.F. Prevost and his staff spent a very busy week end moving from the Odd Fellows’ Block, Duncan, to the new store next to the Canadian Bank of Commerce, on Craig street. As so much of his stationery and toy business is of very small size, its transportation was a lengthy and difficult process, having chiefly to be done by hand. However, they are now firmly established in a larger and more commodious building. The former place of business is in the hands of carpenters, undergoing alterations necessary before Mr. H.W. Fox removes his dry goods business there.”
(Source: Cowichan Leader, 4 January 1923 – from Cowichan Valley Museum & Archives collections)
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