Harold Fairfax Prevost’s former business building at 45 Craig Street

This small commercial building at 45 Craig Street is now occupied by Just Jake’s Restaurant.

45 Craig Street, Duncan, B.C. Built in 1922 for Harold F. Prevost's stationery business. It is now Just Jake's Restaurant.
45 Craig Street, Duncan, B.C. Built in 1922 for Harold F. Prevost‘s stationery business. It is now Just Jake’s Restaurant.

The building was originally built in 1922 for Worshipful Brother Harold Fairfax Prevost, who used it for his stationery and toy business. The building was designed by architect Douglas James and the contractor was Edward W. Lee, later Mayor of Duncan.

At the time this building was constructed , this site was apparently a vacant lot. A livery stable had been on the site previously. We believe that livery stable was the Keast and Blackstock Livery Stable, which burned down in the Great Fire of 1911, which started in the Cowichan Merchants’ building and spread to adjacent structures. This livery stable was operated by Brother Hubert Keast of Temple Lodge, No.33 until Brother Keast’s death in 1907.

Worshipful Brother Harold F. Prevost also served as Mayor of Duncan from 1929-1935. He considered his primary accomplishment as Mayor to have been keeping the City of Duncan‘s finances in stable condition during the Great Depression.

Harold Fairfax Prevost
Harold Fairfax Prevost (Photo courtesy of City of Duncan)

Here are some descriptions of this building taken from local newspapers and historical records:

“Excavations were begun yesterday for the erection of a new store on Craig Street, Duncan, next to the Canadian Bank of Commerce. It is for Mr. H.F. Prevost. Mr. E.W. Lee has the contract. Mr. Douglas James is the architect.”

(Source: Cowichan Leader, September 1922 – from Cowichan Valley Museum & Archives collections)

“NEW BUSINESS PREMISES
Building On Craig Street Will Enhance City’s Appearance

As noted last week, excavations have begun on the site of Mr. H.F. Prevost’s new store on Craig Street, Duncan, adjoining the Canadian Bank of Commerce.

These new business premises will be a decided addition to the buildings of the city. The block is to be 30 feet wide by 60 feet long and it will be constructed of interlocking hollow tile, similar to that used in Mr. C.B. Mains new store. This hollow tile, owing to its air space, makes the building very cool in the summer.

It will be a one floor building on concrete foundations with a small cement basement. It will occupy the whole of Mr. Prevost’s lot. The large plate glass windows will face Craig street and the front will be of buff pressed brick with a gallery across the back.

While making excavations for this building, operations were somewhat hampered, owing to the discovery of a twenty-foot well, just at the back of the bank building. Some years ago the site was used for a livery stable when the well was then is use.

The contract calls for the building to be completed in two months’ time. Mr. Douglas James is the architect and Mr. E.W. Lee is the contractor…..”

(Source: Cowichan Leader, September 1922 – from Cowichan Valley Museum & Archives collections)

“Mr. H.F. Prevost and his staff spent a very busy week end moving from the Odd Fellows’ Block, Duncan, to the new store next to the Canadian Bank of Commerce, on Craig street. As so much of his stationery and toy business is of very small size, its transportation was a lengthy and difficult process, having chiefly to be done by hand. However, they are now firmly established in a larger and more commodious building. The former place of business is in the hands of carpenters, undergoing alterations necessary before Mr. H.W. Fox removes his dry goods business there.”

(Source: Cowichan Leader, January 1923 – from Cowichan Valley Museum & Archives collections)

After Harold Fairfax Prevost’s death in 1941, 45 Craig Street was occupied by another member of Temple Lodge, No.33, William Bruce Powel, who used it for his mens’ clothing business, Powel’s Mens’ Wear.

Powel’s Mens Wear moved next door to 25 Craig Street (now the Craig Street Brew Pub) in 1972 and operated from that location until 2004, when 25 Craig Street became the Craig Street Brew Pub.

William Bruce Powel in Masonic regalia, circa 1958
William Bruce Powel in Masonic regalia, circa 1958 (Photo copyright Temple Lodge, No.33)

Craig Street Brew Pub also operates Just Jake’s Restaurant, so 25 Craig Street and 45 Craig Street are under the same management.

Harold Fairfax Prevost is buried in St. Peter’s Quamichan Anglican Cemetery.

Harold Fairfax Prevost grave stone, St. Peter's Quamichan Anglican cemetery
Harold Fairfax Prevost grave stone, St. Peter’s Quamichan Anglican cemetery

 

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