Carl’s Inspiration

Look familiar?
Look familiar?

Julie the mother-in-law, clarifying info on the Heritage registry, to Val Patenaude of the Maple Ridge Museum and Archives, wrote:

11406 205 Street (formerly Waugh Street)

C.K. Olson, as mentioned above, was my dad, Carl Whitehead, and he bought 11414 205 Street earlier and built 11406 205 Street on the same property in 1923 with the help of Finnish friends. He copied the style of a house a Finnish family in Webster’s Corners owned. Carl was Finnish and not Swedish as claimed in the write up. Carl worked at the Hammond Cedar Mill as a sawyer for many years. He was not a carpenter by trade but continued to build 3 more houses on his property which became rental houses. Carl’s first wife died December 7, 1933. Carl married Anna Kallio a few years later and my brother Jim and I had the privilege of growing up in this wonderful home. I can provide more details if you have any questions. I would just like to see corrections made to the Maple Ridge Heritage homes registry that more accurately reflect on my hard working father’s life.

In 2011 I visited the house Julie mentioned. It sits in a large field but is surrounded closely by trees. You can see the similarities to our house immediately. It is still there and doesn’t seem to have changed.

We can only hope that the owners manage to preserve and protect it before it becomes too far gone. Perhaps the Heritage Revitalization Agreement can help. I’m sure some incentives to upgrade insulation, sealing and heating systems would also help (just in case anyone is listening).

I have had people look at the drawings of our house and immediately conclude that it was a “kit house”, selected from a catalogue, pre-cut and shipped to be constructed quickly and efficiently. There are elements in Hammond Forever House that were popular at the time, but I couldn’t find it in the catalogues. Seeing this house in Webster’s Corners that is so similar in so many ways convinces me that Carl created our house to please himself and his family, inspired by other Finnish home builders in Maple Ridge.



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James Rowley

James lives in Maple Ridge, BC, Canada with his amazing partner, Leanne Koehn, and their two amazing kids in their beautiful house. He studied Science and English Literature at the University of British Columbia where he met Leanne. He also studied acting for a while at Studio 58 in Vancouver. He works as a teacher of English and curriculum writer for new Canadians.

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