Located in downtown Powell River just steps away to Willingdon Beach, easy walk to coffee shops, restaurants, galleries, gift shops, wools store.
About Mme Loukes
In 1912 the first paper rolled off the Powell River Paper Mill and Mme Loukes, Elma, sailed in on a friend’s yacht and docked mill-side. These were early days for the Townsite which had only become a company town in 1910. The pre-planned ‘Garden City’ would not be completed until 1930.
Elma, decided then and there that she was going to move here and set up shop. Born in New Orleans, she was a highly skilled seamstress, dressmaker and designer who saw great potential in the newly formed town. Her first business location was at the Rodmay Hotel, her second location was the top floor of the Patricia Theatre.
During her years in the Townsite she established herself as the dressmaker, designer for spectacular gowns strutted out by the town ladies at the yearly PaperMakers Ball. Elma’s gowns were one-of-a-kind and you considered yourself very special if you got to wear one! The customers she catered to were the wives of top-level mill employees as well as people with professional careers.
According to Beatrice Kent, (nee Innes), Mme Loukes was initially married to a man with the surname Peacock who she divorced and then married Mr. Loukes. She and Mr. Loukes had two sons, Barry and Patrick. One of her sons was later a school teacher in Victoria and the other a prominent architect in Portland, Oregon.
In 1930, depression times, when Marine Ave was a dirt road, she built this house and her 5th Ave Dress Shop next door, modeled after 5th Ave., New York. Mme Loukes’ architect son visited here a few years ago. He told us that when his mother built her house it was outstanding in its modernity of design and had the largest window on Marine Ave. We have not made many changes. The original lathe and plaster walls, cove ceilings, gymnasium quality maple floors and original baseboards are in still in prime condition. The fireplace is intact from the 1930’s, as well as the blue bathtub and sink. The original wrought iron fence and gate are still in prime condition.
Mme Loukes was known in the region for operating a high class business. Historically, 1930’s was the time of ‘The Great Depression’. The main street in Powell River was a dirt road. It was here she opened her ‘5th Ave’ Dress Shop modeled on New York’s ‘5th Ave’., and stocked it accordingly. The customers she catered to were the top brass at Powell River Mill, as well, we’ve heard that she also had a gambling den operating in the back room.