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Anderson House

Warspite, Near

Other Names:
House in the Middle of the Road, The

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place
This collection of ten buildings located on the Lobstick Settlement, River Lot 14, of Smoky Lake County includes the one-and-a-half storey house with a shingled gable roof, a gable roof wall dormer, dovetail chopped log construction with shingle cladding and a central doorway. The site also has six wood frame granaries with shingled gable roofs and shiplap siding, a shingled gable roof stable with vertical planking and the ruins of two buildings of chopped log construction.

Heritage Value
“The House in the Middle of the Road” site is significant because it is a local landmark to the residents of the Victoria District of Smoky Lake County. It is also significant as a representation of the progression of a homestead settlement reflecting the changes over time; and is significant in style, representing the vernacular architecture of the Metis River Lot.

River Lot 14 is significant as a landmark to many residents in the Victoria District because the house is highly visible from the Victoria Trail. The house has been well-known to local residents since its construction in the early 20th century because it is located mere feet from the road on the inside of a slight curve. When approaching the home from the east (heading west), the house appears to be in the middle of the road, hence the local nickname, “The House in the Middle of the Road”.

This site is a good example of a complete homestead settlement showing the progression of earlier to later homes and buildings on the site. Simon Whitford lived on River Lot 14 with his family in the earlier buildings (the ruins) that are found closer to the river. He applied for a homestead application in 1905, but passed away before it was approved. His wife then applied for the homestead application; however, she passed away in 1906 prior to the application being approved. Henry Anderson, the husband of Whitford’s daughter, and Joseph Favell, acquired the land after Mrs. Whitford’s death in 1906 and built the larger home known as “The House in the Middle of the Road” sometime between 1906 and 1912. Henry Anderson’s hometead application was approved in 1912. Following the building of the “The House in the Middle of the Road”, the granaries and stable were built. The method of construction varied from rounded log construction in the earlier buildings (the ruins), to dovetail log construction on the house. The locations of the homes and buildings moved up from the bank of the river over time. In 1914, Spurge Van Iderstein bought the property from the Andersons and then sold it to Ivan Ference in 1926. In 1948, two brothers, Sam and Tarus Charuk, purchased the land and were the last two people to live in the house, which they did until 1974. They sold the land to Donald Van Iderstein, the grandson of Spurge, in 1974. Brent Fletcher purchased the land from Donald in 1988 and still owns the property.

The style of the house is significant because of its vernacular architecture. As well, the one-and-a-half storey home with a shingled gable roof and dormer, the dovetailed log construction with the shingle cladding and the double-hung wooden windows, makes this house unique for the location and time of construction. Prior to the early 20th century, homes were generally built as one room, rectangular structures with a crude roof and chinking between the logs; however, as more settlers moved to the area, new styles of development were introduced, including multi-levels, dovetail log construction and wooden shingle cladding.

Source: Smoky Lake County Bylaw 1204-09.


Character-Defining Elements
The Character Defining Elements are expressed in the form, massing and materials of “The House in the Middle of the Road” include:

• Shingled gabled high-pitched roof

• Gable roof dormer

• Dovetail chopped log construction with shingle cladding

• Central doorway;

• Brick chimney;

• One-and-a-half storey structure;

• Pattern, style and construction of all wooden windows; and

• Location mere feet from inside curve of road.


Location



Street Address: 18167 Victoria Trail
Community: Warspite, Near
Boundaries: Lots 14 to 16, Plan LOBSTIC
Contributing Resources: Collections: 1
Landscape(s) or Landscape Feature(s): 1

ATS Legal Description:
Mer Rge Twp Sec LSD
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
18
18
18
18
18
18
18
18
18
18
18
18
18
18
18
18
18
18
18
18
58
58
58
58
58
58
58
58
58
58
58
58
58
58
58
58
58
58
58
58
10
10
10
11
11
11
11
11
11
14
14
14
14
14
14
14
14
15
15
15
09
15
16
10
11
12
13
14
15
02
03
04
05
06
07
10
12
01
08
09

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

14, 15, 16


Latitude/Longitude:
Latitude Longitude CDT Datum Type
54.00478 -112.57490 GPS NAD83

UTM Reference:
Northing Easting Zone CDT Datum Type

Recognition

Recognition Authority: Local Governments (AB)
Designation Status: Municipal Historic Resource
Date of Designation: 2010/03/25

Historical Information

Built: 1906 To 1912
Significant Date(s) 1906 To 1974
Theme(s) Peopling the Land : Settlement
Historic Function(s): Residence : Single Dwelling
Current Function(s):
Architect:
Builder:
Context:

Additional Information

Object Number: 4664-0206
Designation File:
Related Listing(s):
Heritage Survey File: HS 42572
Website Link:
Data Source: Smoky Lake County P.O. BOX 310 Smoky Lake AB T0A 3C0 (File: 18581450)
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