2507 16A Street SW

Photo courtesy of homeowner.
Photo courtesy of homeowner.

A Carpenter’s Bungalow with a Military Past

Built by and for the tradesmen of Bankview, this house is a 551 square foot bungalow that has undergone extensive transformation. Today, all that remains of the original house is the cedar siding and the defunct radiant gas fireplace with porcelain bricks.

The bungalow’s first resident was Alex Dunbar, a carpenter who likely built the house. In 1914, Harold Lewis a bricklayer moved in followed by WM Cowie who was in active service during World War I. The house remained vacant throughout the Great War and what became of Mr. Cowie is a mystery. Mr Perry C Allard was a trucker with the CPR and lived in the house for two years until William H Siborne bought it in 1920.

During World War II, the Petts family, Charlotte Maria and John Thomas, lived in this bungalow, likely with their two youngest sons, John Russell and Henry Neville.  However, this once happy home tells a sad tale of a double tragedy.

On 28 December 1941, Flight Sergeant John Russell Petts, 138th Squadron RCAF, was killed on an operation of special duties at the age of only 21. Flying a Whitley V, he crashed on return to the base.  On 26 May 1943, his elder brother, Flying Officer Henry Neville Petts, 100th Squadron, RCAF, suffered a similar fate at age 25. Henry’s Lancaster III was hit by flak and crashed near Vlodrop (Limburg), a village on the Dutch-German border. Separated in death as seldom in life, Russell is buried in England, and Neville in the Netherlands.

Although short on closet space, the home suits the current owners and their two cats well. With a painting studio in the basement (www.everydayatelier.com), and a great back deck for parties with neighbors, this carpenter’s bungalow still stands proud on 16 A Street in Bankview.