Where Memories Are Many and Worries are Few
The house itself was built in 1894 by John and Annie Stewart. It is possible that the plans were purchased in San Francisco, as it reflects the Victorian style popular in California in the late 19th century. There is a high level of craftsmanship, particularly in the verandah, which was not common for early homes in the Lower Mainland. The porch was strategically designed to maximize light inside and offer shade outside. During building, the Stewarts lived in a small house on the grounds approximately where the garage is now.
The wallpaper and curtains throughout the house was installed during the restoration process and was chosen based on catalogues available in the 1890s. The furnishings are from the collection of the City of Surrey or are reproductions purchased for display or educational purposes. Several small pieces came from the Stewart family which can be pointed out to you by the guide. Open the photo gallery at the bottom of the page.
The Parlour and Dining Room
The elaborate parlour at the front of the house is where the Stewarts entertained their guests. Portraits of the Stewarts are proudly displayed, as is the Stewart family bible.
Like in many homes, the kitchen is the heart of the farmhouse. Located at the back of the house, it includes an authentic reproduction wood burning stove. The fire is burning in winter and fall, filling the house with a lovely pioneer scent. Off the kitchen are the scullery, for washing up, and the pantry where the Stewarts would have stored and prepared food. The pantry exhibit changes as it would have while the Stewarts used it.
Ming Wah's Room
Up the kitchen’s servant’s staircase sits Jim’s room (his nickname), telling the unique story of a Chinese domestic servant in early BC. The room is notably less ornate than the rest of the house.
Although free of plastic toys and electronics, the children’s bedroom draws parallels to those of today. We like to ask our young visitors what’s missing from these rooms compared to their own.
The Master Bedroom
The most architecturally interesting room in the house with arches and a walk-in closet, the master is also the brightest room in the house. It features a sewing alcove and a spinning wheel where Annie Stewart would have done her sewing and mending. Situated so far from the kitchen, the master also would have been the coldest room in the house.