5960 Deas Island Rd

‘Burrvilla’ is an elaborate and sophisticated
two- storey plus basement wood-frame Queen Anne Revival style residence. It is part of the Deas Island Park heritage grouping and is situated near the Delta Agricultural Hall and Inverholme School. Similar to its original location, the house is oriented with views towards the Fraser River amidst large expanses of grass and a mixed canopy of deciduous and coniferous trees.

Built in 1905-06 at the corner of 62B and River Road, ‘Burrvilla’ reflects the turn of the nineteenth century economic expansion of Delta's farming industry, and symbolizes the wealth and status attained by the prominent Burr family. It is of great historic importance within the Crescent Island community and is a valuable legacy of Delta’s pioneering origins. The house and its farm were an important centre for community social gatherings for Crescent Islanders and others from Ladner. Also, the Burr property was the location of a steamer landing and briefly housed Crescent Island’s only post office. The house was the most prominent in the area and a well-known community landmark. The man for whom the house was built, Henry Benjamin Burr (known as ‘Harry’), was the son of W.H. Burr who was an early pioneer involved in the municipal incorporation of Delta. Harry Burr began farming on Crescent Island in the 1890s and married Edith Blanche Mitchell, daughter of pioneer Nathaniel Mitchell, in 1899. The house remained in Burr family ownership until 1974.

The heritage value of ‘Burrvilla’ is also associated with its architecture as an excellent and unusually late example of the popular Queen Anne Revival Style. The house represents a transition point between the elaborate Victorian residential styles and the more simplified expressions of the Edwardian era. It was constructed by carpenter, Fred Land, and designer/builder, David Price, who was Harry Burr's brother-in-law.

‘Burrvilla’ is also significant as the 1st heritage designation in Delta (1981). The house was relocated to Deas Island Park in 1982 as part of a heritage grouping with Inverholme School and the Delta Agricultural Hall.

Character Defining Elements:

  • Current setting within Deas Island Park near the Delta Agricultural Hall and Inverholme School
  • Orientation, facing towards views of the Fraser River
  • Residential form, scale and massing as expressed by its two storey height plus basement and tall attic, asymmetrical plan with numerous projections and open rear verandah
  • Central pyramidal roof with gabled projections
  • Wood-frame construction as expressed by its vertical tongue-and-groove siding over the foundation and bevelled horizontal drop wooden siding on first and second storeys, with corner boards
  • Queen Anne Revival details such as: the open, elaborate front-gabled porch with numerous
    decorative details such as a carved sunburst inset within the entry pediment
  • Dentil detailed bargeboards and friezes
  • Elliptical scroll-cut balusters, rounded arched openings with drop finials and tripled square columns with incised fluting; enclosed eaves with row of scroll-cut eave brackets; double-height cutaway bay window at front with decorative incised triangular brackets; square side projecting bay with decorative incised triangular brackets; and two tall corbelled interior brick chimneys
  • Additional exterior details such as its original glazing and panelled front doors
  • Fenestration, including: the consistent use of doublehung 1-over-1 wooden sash windows in single, double and triple-assembly; lunette attic windows with keystone design in the front and side gable ends; and a multi-paned feature window in the front entry hall

Added to Municipal Register: January 15, 2007
Submitted to National Register: 2005
Designated: June 1, 1981
Last Reviewed: Donald Luxton and Associates, 2005
Designated Heritage Property