Eric Duncan House
Links and documents
1910/01/01 to 1911/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Sandwick Manor is a tall, two-storey, residential structure situated on its original lot. The house features notable landscaping which includes several mature trees and a decorative gazebo.
Sandwick Manor is significant for its historic and aesthetic value, particularly for its association with the initial occupants of the house, its architecture, and its setting.
The primary value of Sandwick Manor lies in its association with Eric Duncan (1858-1944), who constructed this substantial residence for his wife Anna in 1910-1911, making it the oldest residential structure east of the Courtenay River. A respected farmer, store owner, and post master, Eric Duncan was perhaps most renowned for his poetry and writings, and whose recollections and memoirs have helped tell the story of Courtenay’s early history. Regarded as the 'philosopher of Vancouver Island,' Duncan was known for his columns about life on Vancouver Island, which appeared in both the Vancouver Province and Sun, as well as local newspapers. It is significant that Duncan was the author of two influential recollections, including 'Fifty-Seven Years in the Comox Valley' and 'Shetland to Vancouver Island', a book which received praise from the London Times and was re-published several times.
Sandwick Manor is a good local example of Edwardian-era architecture, seen in its overall building form and in the extensive use of faux stone, as well as in decorative flourishes such as elaborate gingerbread scrollwork under the central projecting gable and horizontal banding. While Sandwick Manor features utilitarian influences, including the concrete bricks from Vancouver and use of timber milled on site, no expense was spared in the construction of the house which is highlighted by the manor’s slate roof derived from Duncan’s native Scotland.
Situated in a predominantly commercial area, the manor is a prominent landmark which evokes a time when the house was a family home in a sparsely-populated agricultural district.
Sandwick Manor is additionally valued for its notable landscaped elements, including manicured gardens, several species of mature fruit trees dating from the 1920’s, shrubbery, substantial evergreen hedges bordering the property, and a decorative gazebo that is sympathetically designed with the architectural character of the manor.
Source: City of Courtenay Planning Department
Key elements which define the heritage character of Sandwick Manor include its:
- prominent situation in a historically agricultural area that is now predominantly commercial
- substantial setback from street
- location of the house on its original site
- square form, residential scale and massing
- asymmetrical façade and verandah, edifice of concrete bricks
- detailed gingerbread scrollwork under central projecting gable, medium pitched gable roofs, second-storey sleeping porch and double-hung wooden-sash one-over-one windows, and slate roof
- decorative gazebo
- mature shrubbery, fruit trees and evergreen hedges
Local Governments (BC)
Local Government Act, s.954
Community Heritage Register
Theme - Category and Type
- Peopling the Land
Function - Category and Type
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
City of Courtenay Planning Department
Cross-Reference to Collection