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Village Treasures


Other Names:
former Manville [SIC] Trading Store

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place
Village Treasures, originally constructed as the Manville [sic] Trading Store, is a Municipal Historic Resource in the Village of Mannville. The property features a one-storey commercial building constructed of concrete block. The false-front structure with low gabled roof features an original tin ceiling and an exterior of concrete blocks crafted on site. It anchors the intersection of the south end of Main Street and Railway Avenue (50th), now having civic addresses 5009 – 50th Street.

Heritage Value
The Manville [sic] Trading store is valued for its historic materials, particularly for its use of concrete blocks. The building was constructed between June and September 1935 and the concrete blocks were made on site by hand. A wooden mold was used to form three blocks at a time. The mold had a hole in its side to accommodate a metal rod which ran horizontally through the blocks. The mold was filled with a cement mixture, and then set aside to dry in the sun. When the blocks were dry, there remained a hole in each of them through which a metal rod was threaded, thus reinforcing the walls as they were built. The blocks have an interesting protruding design, which is unique to this building. The tin roof is also unique in that it was crimped in order to seal it, which would have required special knowledge and tools.

The Manville [sic] Trading Store is also valued for its association with Julius Spevakow. Mr. Spevakow built this building to house his general store. The store, carried everything from hardware supplies, clothing, groceries, canned goods, candy, and fabrics, as well as many other sundry items. While there were other general stores in Mannville, Mr. Spevakow catered specifically to the immigrant population, as he was proficient in more than five languages. Many customers did their business with Mr. Spevakow because he could speak their native tongue. During the depression, Mr. Spevakow bartered with his customers, and his wife was very generous in donating clothing to the poor. Edmonton Produce would come and purchase produce directly from the farmers. These farmers were given a chit (voucher), which they could then redeem at The Manville Trading Store. Mr. Spevakow would bring in clothing and groceries on consignment from Edmonton for his customers. The store became a common meeting place and source of supplies for many people in the surrounding area. The store’s existence carried many local families through the depression and kept them in the area.


Trails to Mannville: A History of Mannville and District, Mannville and District Old Timer's Society, 1985.

Verbal interviews with current owners, who collected some of their information from interviews with Mannville residents.

Verbal l interview with Robert Spevakow, son of Julius.

Village of Mannville Bylaw No. 2009 – 758.

Character-Defining Elements
The heritage value of the Manville Trading Store resides in the following character-defining elements:

Those elements associated with the method of construction, such as:

- the concrete blocks;

- the tin roof;

Those elements associated with Julius Spevakow, such as:

- elements of the building that express its historic function, including the "Robin Hood Flour" advertisement painted on the south exterior wall, framing for the original signage over the main entrance, and large display windows with recessed entrance and transom at the top];
- the large storefront windows.


Street Address: 5009 - 50th Street
Community: Mannville
Boundaries: Lots 3 and 4, Block 3, Plan RN87
Contributing Resources: Buildings: 1

ATS Legal Description:
Mer Rge Twp Sec LSD

PBL Legal Description (Cadastral Reference):
Plan Block Lot Parcel

Latitude Longitude CDT Datum Type
53.337533 -111.179018 Secondary Source NAD83

UTM Reference:
Northing Easting Zone CDT Datum Type


Recognition Authority: Local Governments (AB)
Designation Status: Municipal Historic Resource
Date of Designation: 2010/01/27

Historical Information

Significant Date(s) 1935 to 1960
Theme(s) Developing Economies : Trade and Commerce
Historic Function(s): Commerce / Commercial Services : Shop or Wholesale Establishment
Current Function(s): Commerce / Commercial Services : Shop or Wholesale Establishment

Additional Information

Object Number: 4664-0201
Designation File:
Related Listing(s):
Heritage Survey File: HS 36669
Website Link:
Data Source: Village of Mannville P.O. Box 180 Mannville AB T0B 2W0
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