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Sheppard / Maccoy House

High River

Other Names:

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place
The Sheppard/Maccoy House is a one-storey, white-washed, log house, situated upon its associated historic yard, and located on 5th Street SE in High River. Its historic red roof colour is prominent against the white-washed exterior. Outbuildings, including a cold-storage room dug into the side of an adjacent embankment, flank the house. The house and associated yard are part of, but distinct from, a larger park area, which is not included in the designation.

Heritage Value
The heritage value of the Sheppard/Maccoy House lies in its association with early settlement and life in the area, and its status as an historic residence, one of the oldest in the Town of High River. It is also valued as the home of Ruth Maccoy, and for the fact that the property was bequeathed to the Town as part of her estate.

The Sheppard/Maccoy house was originally built in 1883, and was associated with purposes typical of the pioneer settlement era. The house supported the endeavours of its owners, serving primarily as a family home. Constructed by Andy Bell as a base for fishing and visiting neighbours, it subsequently housed William Ikin, who stabled his famed Clydesdale herd in what are now the adjacent cow barns. Henry Sheppard, who purchased the property in 1923, developed a small, self-sufficient farm on the property. Such subsistence farming was common during this period. Sheppard converted the stables to cow barns and sold milk and cream in town. His wife, Evelyn, and her daughter, Ruth, created the wonderful flower garden that remains on site today. Mother and daughter’s baking and hospitality were renowned – the front step of the cabin is worn with the footprints of the countless people who entered their home. The house was home to Ruth Maccoy for 70 years, and was bequeathed to the Town of High River as part of her family legacy.

Character-Defining Elements
The character-defining elements of the Maccoy Residence include such features as:

- Location in historic yard;

- Size, form, and massing;

- Relationship to historic outbuildings such as cow barns and dug-out cold storage room;

- Position of historic flower beds and other plantings;

- Hand hewn logs with original axe markings that are still visible;

- Red-roof colour;

- Daubing – mudding between the logs follows a Portland cement style containing any or all of the following: hydrated lyme, sand, horse hair, straw, or other fibrous materials;

- Floating floor – installed without the use of glue or nails, the individual planks that make up a floating floor are not secured to the sub-floor, but rather suspended;

- White-washed exterior and interior surfaces, thick with years of applications;

- Hand dug cellar – the cellar is situated approximately 5 feet from an outside wall under the current kitchen floor. Access is through a trap door in the floor.


Street Address: 1201 - 5 Street SE
Community: High River
Boundaries: Lot 1, Block 3, Plan 0914066
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
50.570499 -113.860102 NAD 83

UTM Reference:
Northing Easting Zone CDT Datum Type


Recognition Authority: Local Governments (AB)
Designation Status: Municipal Historic Resource
Date of Designation: 2009/11/09

Historical Information

Built: 1883 to 1883
Significant Date(s) 1883 to 1883
Theme(s) Peopling the Land : Settlement
Historic Function(s): Residence : Single Dwelling
Current Function(s): Leisure : Historic or Interpretive Site

Additional Information

Object Number: 4664-0229
Designation File:
Related Listing(s):
Heritage Survey File:
Website Link:
Data Source: Town of High River, Cultural Services Department, 309B Macleod Trail, SW, High River, AB, T1V 1Z5 (File Sheppard Family Park - 918))
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