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History of the Hastings House

Jonathan Yardley

This tape is part of the Salt Spring Island Historical society Collection and is comprised of an address to its members.
Mr. Yardley outlines the history of the Hastings House property and the substantial renovations he designed in the early 1980s when the house was converted to a resort.

Accession Number Interviewer Salt Spring Island Historical Society address
Date APRIL 8, 1986 Location
Media tape Audio CD mp3
ID 57 Topic




Unknown Speaker 0:00
The drip word as Tony said that, that he was I was going to talk about the past, present and future of Hastings house. In fact, I think we first would have said, there is no mystery about the past, present and future of Hastings. In my mind, there is some still some mystery about the future and the past. But I think I can dispel this afternoon that there is no mystery about the present. As you are historical society, your normal focus will be on the past, I will endeavor to give you some background of the past development of what is known as the Hastings house property, which will unfortunately be rather sketchy. However, I hope this will be compensated with a fuller description of what there is the present and the glimpse into the future. I can have the lives those.

Unknown Speaker 1:04
You will have noticed before we started, Ivan, myself and Gordon Brown are putting some drawings up on the wall. And the reason for that is that in the slides, I do have these drawings but they're not always that easy to see. reproduced in this way, I suggest that afterwards, you may wish to look at them in more detail. From the research I've done on Hastings house, the first owner of the property was a colonel Craig the beginning of the century, he purchased just a record of section about 82 acres and this land extended from if we take the aerial photograph on the right it extended from well harvest and Marina up to the long harbor road effective when the other side of long harbor road there is part of the property which in fact is just the other side. Colonel Craig use the property primarily as a small mixed farming operation and he kept a lot of horses I gather, the crepe family built what is now known as the farmhouse the building in the center of the picture there were the areas so large two storey building where a lot of additions come in on the north side of it facing this this photograph was taken January 22 1939. So this was after the Craig's had in fact left property this building was not the first building on the property. In fact, the first building on the property from what I can gather is known as something wrong is this one here this is just a moment

Unknown Speaker 3:16
with me a moment I think we have one in the wrong direction

Unknown Speaker 3:36
it should be right.

Unknown Speaker 4:04
It's always a nuisance when you lose your place in the middle and the slides right at the beginning. The house on the left is the farmhouse just had the Craig's old and used the house they had before that was.

Unknown Speaker 4:54
We have the wrong carousel on the projector with his words backwards.

Unknown Speaker 5:28
thought it wasn't making sense

Unknown Speaker 5:46
well, yes, here we are. We've seen these two before right? Shows Ganges from the planet Ganges.

Unknown Speaker 6:01
The crepes. The first house is the one on the right, which is the what we call the farmhouse today. It was not, as I was saying earlier, the first building on the property. The first building on the property from what I gathered was this building here on the left hand photograph, which is known as the Hudson Bay trading post. So also shown this photograph on the right behind the gentleman here is Warren Hastings, small cell satellite building, apparently, from talking to Mrs. Warren Hastings, that it was used as a Hudson Bay trading post. And from all accounts it was used in a very casual manner. Occasionally on the honor system, when customers would arrive by boat and finding no one post help themselves in the shelves and be payment before sailing away. The slide on the right as I was saying shows Warren Hastings with a small boat that he's just refinished and repainted. On his left is what was the Hudson Bay trading house and on the right the building here is the back side of the original farmhouse. In the 1920s, the prophetess was in the ownership of a major run. Major rollin and his family came from Vancouver, and before coming to Salt Spring Island, had been serving in Europe during the Great War. One of his daughters I gather a miss L. E. Rohan still lives on Venice road. The rodents further develop the property. Among other structures structures they built was a small summer house. This is now used as a tea house in front of the main manor house. And they also constructed a tennis court and this is still in existence is now used as a small croquet lawn back here on the east side of the creek. This brings us up to the time of the change of ownership to the Hastings Family in 1937. Gentlemen gentleman right being Warren Hastings has a slight digression. You might be interested to know that one of Warren Hastings is most famous ancestors who bears the same name was Warren Hastings who was the first Governor General of India from 1773 to 1785. He was born in a village in Sussex called Churchill which led me to believe that maybe Churchill road maybe it was named after Churchill where the Hastings Family was came from or it might be named after swings to church. I don't think there's a church around here on a hill afterwards to be made there is okay thank you

Unknown Speaker 9:19
a while I said I didn't know I was suggesting just a little side aggression on Warren Hastings himself that the first one on Hastings that is he was instrumental with I think it was Robert Clive of establishing a peaceful settlement in East India. And he was employed by the East India Company, which of course, as you know, is a similar trading merchant trading companies the Hudson Bay Company. So it's interesting he came full circle to another Hudson Bay trading post here When the Hastings right here, one of their first endeavors was to build themselves a new house for their family needs in lifestyle. He prepared a number of sketches of his house based on a small amount of white house that he lived in Sussex, England. These sketches were used as the basis for the building construction drawings prepared by the Victorian architectural firm of Johnson and Stockton. The drawings up here the one on the left is a drawing I prepared showing the additions which we carried out to the Hastings house, which can be compared with the original drawings prepared by a child stock Victoria. On the writer, more plans, original plans which are dated July, the 17th 1940, right down in the corner here, July the 17th 1914. It reads house again to Saltspring for Warren Hastings square scale corporate inch equals one to one foot, Johnson and stoptail Victoria, architects Victoria, I spoke last week. Or maybe it was this week to Charles Stockdale who now lives in Vancouver, he's retired. He remembers the project he actually physically did the drawings of this. His senior partner, Johnson was the architect and Charles Johnson trained in England and Charles Stockdale felt that he had a good rapport with Warren Hastings. Whereas Charles Stockdale trained at University of Manitoba. He also indicated to me that the quote from him the ideas were here and the detailing was, he was referring to Warren Hastings. Joining the construction, Warren Hastings acted as the contractor, hiring his crew and supervising the construction.

Unknown Speaker 12:22
Here we have

Unknown Speaker 12:22
eight photographs all taken in 1940 and 41. Starting in the ones on the right to sort of try and orientate yourself, where the arrow is now pointing is the large maple tree that still exists outside the lawn the main man perhaps can be seen in this one it can be seen here and down here is the boat share right down on the beach down here. The construction that is had commenced in 1940 and took a crew 16 approximately a year to build. He was built without the benefit of mechanical equipment, apart from the tractor, which we see heavy use dragline to excavate for the basement of the main house. The form of construction was a combination of post and beam just shown here. In fact, this just knock it off. This beam here is the beam that goes across the window of the dining room. Behind this gentleman here's the porch entrance, the front entrance to the building

Unknown Speaker 13:52
Jack Jack Graham

Unknown Speaker 14:01
photograph on the right which is an enlargement of the left hand one is showing the shapes the swords the main roof on the north side. Showing the construction a considerable amount of masonry was used primarily for this large fireplace and chimney of the living room. I was given the understanding from Warren Hastings that approximately 20 km 21 tons of stone were used in its construction. On the left photograph, which you might be wondering about is the quarry. These the cleft areas of rock which we use to for all the stonework in the house for came off the site. Again, stone masons his English that I haven't been able to track down his name. The foreman for the construction of the house was three years that was fun We did, Catherine, because Sid was Jack Graham before he had been the head carpenter in Vancouver joined the construction of the original hotel Vancouver wood frame building. I'm very fortunate to have these photographs of the construction of the Manor House these have been loaned to me by Glen outhouse who in turn got a loan from Mr. Mrs. Warren Hastings. The photograph of a finished house was taken I would suggest on the same day as this one

Unknown Speaker 15:46
sorry, they're taken on the same day as the next one. Got it. These two are taken on the same day and there's a date on this one

Unknown Speaker 16:01
which would indicate that it was in March or April of 9041. On close examination, somebody is sitting on the porch there is somebody sitting on the porch they're not exactly the same pose the there's no leaf or bugs on the maple tree yet yet the windows are open on the building. So I would suggest it's probably March or April of 1941. Mo notice in in the comparison between this shot and this shot which is existing as it is today, the cedar tree on the right is still there, the large maple overhanging is still there to move on to the next building the farmhouse, which we touched on briefly before building here which is located in this location. And a similar photograph here on the left. And this being Mrs. Hastings leaning against this tree. You'll notice the series of photographs on the right show changes metamorphosis of the original building from this through this to that they removed the second floor sorry, that's digress, this is a rear view farmhouse. same view as that showing the lien two sections of the bank so in the end, this is what it ended up and it was used as they were not living in this this became in the end of workshop.

Unknown Speaker 18:08
Next building take a look at is the bomb. Again, I'm using this very useful view down the valley shows the barn here showing the south elevation the north, the north and the south here with Mrs. Hastings sitting by the well feeding her flock of chickens fountains and Gleaners or guinea fowl. The barn was obviously in existence for many years having gone through many changes. When the Warren Hastings arrived, it consists of a three base structure with a lien two on the side. You see here the lien two on the side. Early in 1939 These photographs are dated January the 27th 1939. That one that one work commenced on the expansion of the barn to the size. It was when it was sold by the Warren Hastings in 1980.

Unknown Speaker 19:20
It's a photograph of the south elevation and this is mr. Krabs and his daughter Geraldine used to work for the Hastings

Unknown Speaker 19:34
you will no doubt have noticed when you've been to the Hastings house that there is what appears to be an extension coming out from the end of this barn here. That was done later on. I have no photographs showing what that was like before it was sold to the present owners

Unknown Speaker 20:00
This is Warren Hastings. With telescope. You can have gas I think it must have been in his yachting cap behind it, which is the reason for the photograph is the trading post, which is this building here. When the Manor House was erected, which is after this photograph on the left, the Trading Post building was in the way of the driveway up to that house. And after demolitions had been carried out to a farmhouse, that building was moved down into the valley here.

Unknown Speaker 20:45
This chairs had actually moved down by deduction. The small piece of wall on the right is the trading post when it could be moved down into the flat area and you can see a newly planted orchard behind the two people in photograph I don't know who they are, it's up to you to tell me.

Unknown Speaker 21:15
That really concludes the tenure of the Warren Hastings. And in the summer of 1980, Donald and Shang Krause, who represented at that time territorial hotels, which has since become known as halfword resorts purchased the property. Their intent was to create a resort for people who enjoy cramp tranquillity and like to be pampered. I was approached by the crosses shortly after the purchase, to advise them and advise them on the condition of all the existing structures their potential for adaption as a result, and the technical aspects of obtaining permission for such a facility within the agricultural land reserve.

Unknown Speaker 22:09
The results of this investigation was that a comprehensive submission was made to the BC agricultural land commission indicating that the intended use is for old structures. This report which included survey drawings of all the buildings led to a conditional approval by the Commission for the operation versus or within the within the agricultural land reserve. The property was not taken out of the land reserve remains to this day as agricultural land. This process took about six months, during which time work proceed with the preparation of drawings for the building firms. As you may be aware, in order to obtain a building permit or health permit indicating methods of sewage disposal, have to is required. This brings up the terrible thing about Ganges sewer. I'm sorry. Our initial percolation tests the property gave concern as the soils in many areas with a mixture of clay and sand overlaying a bed of sand. It's a strange combination. We therefore engaged a consultant Doug Stevenson from Stevenson international groundwater consultants to advise us on a suitable drainage field design. Design was prepared based on soil characteristics of the property, which require that additional one foot six to material be laid in the meadow to form the drainage field. However, upon submission of this proposal to the CRD health department, it was rejected because it did not not on engineering grounds. But because it did not meet the terms of their guidelines for sewage disposal. We therefore had to increase the depth of field from 1.6 to four feet or two foot six and material of a very large area which of course is extremely expensive. It also as well as being expensive change the profile of the meadow to some extent

Unknown Speaker 24:33
those are familiar if you go down the driveway you'll notice there's quite a pronounced bank over on the far left hand side of the field. And this is where the drainage field the sewage disposal field is located. Once we had obtained a health permit, we were able to proceed quite easily to obtain the building permits for the proposed renovations. You will Call that when the Warren Hastings left they had developed and finally manicured the site to such an extent that when the cross was purchased it, Chang Cross said, We just thought all the buildings were in the right place, it looked correct, and had the feeling that we didn't want to disturb. on that premise, the hotel was planned and developed. I will now address the various buildings as to what changes were made to. All the buildings had some work carried out from a rebuild, for instance, the barn to just refinishing the trading post. When talking about the Warren Hastings tenure, I dropped to some extent on the buildings building of a manor house I will therefore address this building first. Extensive additions had to be made to this building in order to accommodate a dining room and to provide a fully equipped commercial kitchen. Great care was taken to ensure that the additions followed the lines the original, use the same materials and did not dominate the original building. The two illustrations are up here on the left. This is a photograph taken in 1980, just when the crosses had purchased the property showing the rear porch onto the manor house. This is a sketch that I did to show how long would add to the rear of that buildings provide for long kitchen and an additional dining area. Again, we're following the same slope of roof as the existing

Unknown Speaker 26:49
this drawing illustrates the top plan is the existing lounge with the kitchen, dining room, porch and entrance. This area here. The bottom plan shows the addition dining area here incorporation part of the original kitchen into the dining room and the addition of a long galley type kitchen on the back of the house. Again, these illustrations show what it was hoped that it would look like when completed.

Unknown Speaker 27:29
Because of the liquor licensing requirements, it was necessary to provide a dining room that has a capacity of 30 seats. This was a complex by incorporating the existing kitchen, the original kitchen into the dining room shown a little bit on this plan here. Right. The original kitchen on this left hand plan. Can you see this arrow by the way? I don't know. It's pretty faint on a white plan. On the right hand plan, you can you can see you know where the changes have happened on the right hand side of the building. The slide on the right shows how it is blended we feel into the form of the original building. See again the pay window photograph on the right similar to that on the left, because you come down look back at it. The the stonework again was stone mainly from the site but not exclusively from the site. The leaded lights were manufactured on Saltspring they are real leaded lights to match the existing there's a view showing the total thing on the inside we used for which was milled and cut on the island. For all the beams This is the addition. The post in the middle of the dining room is the post here in the plan which supports the second floor of the building. So everything outside these two beams is new construction. This area in here being where the original kitchen was located. That's looking from the new section which is this side of this feed through into the old SEC section.

Unknown Speaker 29:45
When one passes through the doors, the kitchen I mean the dining room is the kitchen, you enter into another world with the finishes in here the stainless steel sinks and counters was plastic laminate Ain't no walls and clay tiles on the floor. The form of the kitchen is not the most efficient being long, galley shaped space. It's narrow, but it seems to be potable. The restrictions of the existing building did not permit one to go any further out away from the building.

Unknown Speaker 30:28
The living room remains virtually the same as it did before. The only change being that one window was blocked to accommodate the kitchen running behind it. And secondly, another window was opened up and provide a service access from the kitchen into the living area.

Unknown Speaker 30:51
The fireplace, which we saw earlier from the outside has this cow made out of brick, which joint construction was built three times to get it to the right profile and begin to serve it withdraw correctly and work efficiently. This is where the 21 tonnes of stones used in here on the bar

Unknown Speaker 31:20
view looking from the living room through the entrance to the dining room

Unknown Speaker 31:29
on the second floor, it was necessary to provide a fast separation from the ground floor to this is now a commercial building. It has a restaurant and it has accommodation and we have to be separated with fireproof materials. What we did was to use steel doors which we then faced with the board and bathroom as shown on this door here to resemble the existing The landing was on the second floor was converted into a small library. And the screen was built in here and glazed screen which is new. The door which was new a wall is new. And I feel it when you go then try and see which is the new and the old. It's pretty difficult to see they blend very well together

Unknown Speaker 32:25
we said up to the bedrooms on the second floor. Both both Suites have their own fireplace in here. And what large walk in closets It's furnished with period furniture throughout

Unknown Speaker 32:46
the other side of the bedroom just saw and you will notice a little vanity to the left of the fireplace in the closet mostly to touch

Unknown Speaker 33:00
this is the interesting part. The basement when we took over the building was just storage furnace and laundry. In order to utilize it, we were able to put in a small bedroom unit which is called the snug it is very snug. It's not very high. But it affords good news out over the hardware through these windows here. Also in the basement was the staff office storage room, furnace room. And of course the wine cellar, which was the photograph on the right. I had my eyes on the large Jeroboam champagne in the corner but I felt it would be noticed if I took it

Unknown Speaker 33:53
the Manor House was obviously completely rewired and replan in such a manner that it's not a true, true said and cannot be seen. And it is hoped that with the renovation of this building that has been respectful to the 1940 building, yet it works as a modern hotel of the 80s.

Unknown Speaker 34:20
back once again to the farmhouse when the process purchased the property the farmhouse consisted of one large room tent with a 10 foot six a ceiling used as a workshop. A number of sketches carried out and it was decided to install the second floor to get an eight foot ceiling, the ground floor and to install eyebrow dormers on the north elevation these are the two same views to permit two bathrooms to be installed on the second floor. Inside here And to install on the other elevation, which you can see the bottom left hand photograph here. So bottom right to the left hand screen and the new one here you'll notice the dormer windows are larger on the right hand one day again, we're done in order to accommodate the bedroom on the second floor

Unknown Speaker 35:31
floor plan. So on the left on the right hand part of the drawing below the arrow shows the existing condition which was John just one large room on the ground floor two fireplaces, and two small bathrooms on either side. The plans the LED shows the arrangement of space we put in a dividing wall down the middle firewall created two suites vertical suites with the living room and bathroom downstairs, bedroom and bathroom on the second floor. The right hand slide shows one of the living room areas taken from the over the balusters the stairs leading to the second floor.

Unknown Speaker 36:15
So now the unit on the other side. This is the bedroom. As you can see within the dormer window view on the left is taken from outside looking in at the fireplace.

Unknown Speaker 36:37
Thus over the years, the original building has been adapted by every owner to their specific needs. The bond this bond pro post one of the biggest problems are applications for the BC agriculture agricultural land commission had been to extensively renovate the interior of the barn without destroying the actual form and mass of the building. Upon a more thorough investigation of the barn, it was found that extensive rock was apparent in all the timbers and that the cost to renovate it up to the requirements national building code would be prohibitive, if not impossible. Therefore, it's decided to rebuild the bomb to exactly the same configuration and form that it originally was. The photograph on the left has been up on the screen shows it as found photographs will be doing on the right have shown it as it is being rebuilt

Unknown Speaker 37:59
Yeah, I'm getting to that.

Unknown Speaker 38:05
You'll notice that the photograph on the left is when they were doing the Hastings doing audition in 1939. It's more or less the same view join the rebuilding, the building was moved approximately two foot six to the left. And were originally set in order to provide clear vehicular access through between it and the office building on the right.

Unknown Speaker 38:50
can see here the necessity to make it wide to allow for a pedestrian path beside the driveway

Unknown Speaker 39:03
is the view from the south. Again, the original left and the building as it proceeds on the right. Pure coal. We had a photograph showing mr. Krabs outside the south elevation here with his daughter and this greenhouse section had not been built at that time. This being a greenhouse down here. When we rebuild it, we've rebuilt the same form. In fact, this suite is known as the greenhouse suite

Unknown Speaker 39:40
showing the the well. Which we saw earlier in this photograph here with Mrs. Hastings with a flock of poultry. The Wild is still there and it still has water. I wouldn't suggest you use it necessarily It still exists

Unknown Speaker 40:07
there's practically identical views before and after.

Unknown Speaker 40:16
plans on the left show the configuration of how we use the interior of the barn. photograph on the right is the greenhouse suite, which is the one just above the arrow here. For the greenhouse watts, we then get a suite, which we call the meadow which overlooks the meadow. This one on the right, we then on the ground floor have a conference room at the far corner here. And the left hand side of the building here have laundry in the staff room. On the second floor, there are two suites, one of which is called the sealer SCA is locked which is this one and the other end is called Halo

Unknown Speaker 41:21
so that's the bomb as it was and as it is. Comparison, interesting in this photograph, you'll notice the cedar tree here and the cedar tree here. maple tree here. maple tree here the cedar has grown a lot more it's right up to the skyline here. Here it was down here. These ones have grown as well is two

Unknown Speaker 41:53
back to the tractor or should I say back to the post. If you recall this is the corner that's where it has moved. The plan on the left which is difficult to read shows the main original cell of the building with additions which have been added by the Hastings we in fact remove one section that was in this corner and converted it into a small unit marriages today

Unknown Speaker 42:34
we removed the section out of this corner here and put in larger windows at that point we call it was the night was called the little building was up on the bank brought it down to this location there's a view inside looking out through these doors we took out the ceiling and expose the rafters running across here

Unknown Speaker 43:16
is the bathroom in there

Unknown Speaker 43:27
this building we call the office and storage we refer to it earlier or was this the chicken house. The building on the left the one which has the black tar paper on still this is joint construction was the location of a chicken house, which again we had hoped to renovate with the head room was insufficient to use the existing structure so we rebuilt it the same form. This building is three feet wider about two feet higher than the existing but the other part of this is this long range of storage sheds to the side of it going out on the right here was existing we use the existing concrete foundations a retaining wall behind basically just put a new roof over the top of it and here's the completely building on the right

Unknown Speaker 44:28
I haven't talked at all about this building. This is what we call the cottage on Churchill row. It is now used as the manager's house. The photograph on the left again from 1939 shows the building and you'll note this window here. You can see the arrow is this window right here. There's been a new addition on this side which is a bedroom and a living room on this side. There was an addition on here sometimes shared the two been removed before the process purchased the property. These trees here are these trees here the same trees

Unknown Speaker 45:18
an interesting comparison here. small boat shed down on the beach. Here they are busy pouring the concrete for the slipway for the boats. And here if you look on the right, the condition of their concrete faders suffered through the erosion of the tides and also the small creek that runs underneath the building of this point. And down here. You'll also notice they've changed the profile of the roof escape land from this rather low pitched here

Unknown Speaker 46:02
getting down onto the ground now. Now we've been dealing with the buildings on the property and TV appropriate consider what what you can't see considerable