This house at 641 Third Avenue in Ladysmith was built for John W. Coburn by Victoria architects Thomas Hooper and C. Elwood Watkins, both of whom were Freemasons.
John W. Coburn was a member of Ashlar Lodge, No.3 and St. John’s Lodge, No.21 in Ladysmith. He played a leading role in the campaign to incorporate the town of Ladysmith and was elected the first Mayor of Ladysmith in 1904.
John W. Coburn apparently sold this house when he returned to Nanaimo about 1913. In 1917 this house was purchased by a Mr. Verchere, the manager of the Ladysmith branch of the Bank of Commerce. It remained in the Verchere family for several decades.
John W. Coburn was elected to Nanaimo City Council in 1917.
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