Charles and Hannah (Parker) Ball Fence
This fence is one of the few publicly displayed examples of the blacksmith’s art. The original fence was installed between 1914 and 1917. It is a unique example of the blacksmith art.
Charles Ball, one of Victoria’s finest blacksmiths, constructed a nearly flawless intricate, delicate design of multiple scrolls on a hand-worked wrought iron fence to surround the graves where he and his wife Hannah would one day lie.
The Old Cemeteries Society donated $10,000 toward the project. The Vancouver Island Blacksmiths Association, which was formed to preserve the blacksmith trade, volunteered to restore this grave fence free of charge. In excess of 500 hours was spent on this project and it was completed in 2004.
The Parker/Ball family is one of Victoria’s most enduring pioneer families. Hannah Parker was the first white girl born in Victoria. Her parents, John and Mary, arrived in Victoria in 1853 aboard the Hudson’s Bay Company’s sailing ship Norman Morison. Hannah was born that same year.
Charles Ball came to Victoria in 1863 looking for fame and fortune. Instead of moving off to the gold fields, he stayed in Victoria, met and married Hannah Parker, raised 9 children and established himself as one of Victoria’s finest blacksmiths. His first shop was on Johnson Street and in 1887 he moved it to Rocky Point. Family folklore has it that he built the fence himself in his retirement years. Charles Ball died in 1917 and was laid to rest behind the fence he built in Ross Bay Cemetery.
To view more Pictures of the Parker/Ball Fence Restoration on the Vancouver Island Blacksmiths Association website.