Skelton House circa 1914 (courtesy Chilliwack Museum and Archives)
Sitting proudly at the end of Spadina Avenue opposite the old fairgrounds is The Skelton House. Completed in 1914 the large craftsman home is celebrating a milestone birthday this July – one hundred years after the first residents, Robert G. and Susan Skelton moved in with their young family. The large residence displays the typical features of a craftsman style home with a generous full width front porch, inset second floor balcony, exposed rafters and decorative braces under gables, tapered porch columns and wood shingle siding. The Skelton House originally sat on a 2-1/2 acre parcel of land purchased from Chilliwack pioneer Isaac Kipp and was valued at $1500.00 in 1913. Tax records from the City indicate improvements were made to the property in 1914 and 1915. A barn was built first followed by the grand craftstman style house. The acreage was later subdivided into city lots; the Skelton House is now surrounded by newer homes however still holds a prominent place on Chilliwack’s Spadina Avenue; adding historic texture to the neighborhood.
For more information on the arts and crafts movement and all things craftsman, check out the following website: http://www.arts-and-crafts-style.com/craftsman-style-homes.html
Receipt from 1938. Note the gloves priced at 1.98
In 1926 Robert Skelton opened his men’s wear business at 45957 Wellington Avenue in downtown Chilliwack. Unfortunately fire destroyed the building in March, 1930 when a spectacular fire ripped through the commercial district, razing a large portion of the downtown core. The building was later re-constructed on the same site utilizing beautiful multi-coloured mosaic tiles on the front of the building including the entrance. Today these tiles can still be seen on the store front on Wellington Avenue; taken over in 1966 by Gord-Ray Men’s Wear and still in business today. The interior still bears the original tin ceilings – have a peak inside next time you walk by.
R.G Skelton Men’s Wear on Wellington Ave. (courtesy Chilliwack Museum and Archives)
current photo of Skelton House (courtesy of Ted Sauriol photographer)