Esquimalt home restoration gains kudos from heritage committee

Head Street homeowners applauded for work on ‘Captain’s house’

Jim and Carole Witter own a historically rich home in Esquimalt that boasts a story unlike any other.

For their efforts in restoring the residence at 507 Head St., which Capt. Victor Jacobson built in 1893 as a wedding promise to his wife Minnie, the Witters have been recognized with an Esquimalt Heritage Recognition Award.

Acting on a recommendation from the Esquimalt heritage advisory committee, council presented the award Monday night.

“It is so well-known, it has been so well-photographed,” said Sherri Robinson, Esquimalt volunteer archivist and committee member, of the home known as ‘The Captain’s.’

Jacobson, a prominent sealing captain, promised his bride in 1888 that he would build her a new home.

The couple briefly lived in ‘The Big House,’ as they called it, preferring to reside on Jacobson’s ship, Distributor, moored nearby in West Bay.

“Recognition regarding the preservation of this distinctive landmark in Esquimalt is an honour that we share with all who have been stewards of Capt. Jacobson’s house for close to 120 years,” Carole Witter said in an email.

It’s hoped the award will encourage other homeowners to preserve their historical treasures.

“When this is your only house like this in the area, it makes it that much more important, and the desire to hang onto it is even greater,” Robinson said. “That house makes our community better.”

emccracken@vicnews.com