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Wunderly Farm Site

Sherwood Park

Other Names:

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place
This farm site is located in a residential subdivision southeast of the hamlet of Sherwood Park in Strathcona County. The circa 1928 barn has a side-facing gambrel roof and shiplap siding. The 1953 barn has a rainbow roof, shiplap cladding and contrasting colour wood trim. The historic place is inclusive of the footprint of the two buildings.

Heritage Value
This site is significant for its association with the themes of agricultural development, and business and industry in Strathcona County. The two barns are significant for their design and the site is significant for its association with George Wunderly.

This farm was developed later than most in Strathcona County. The land was held by the CPR until around 1928 when this 160 acre parcel was sold to John and Theresa Wunderly. The Wunderly’s built a small shack and moved in with their young son John junior. Their two other children, George and Viola Ann were born a short time later. The Wunderly’s improved the property, which meant cutting and clearing brush and trees to get some land under cultivation. Like most area settlers they established a mixed farm and in time had five or six cows and several hundred chickens. They sold eggs, cream and butter to people in Edmonton. As time went on they were able to have more cattle and hogs. Mrs. Wunderly usually had seventy-five to one hundred turkeys to sell for Christmas and the family always had lots of their own meat, eggs and vegetables.

Over the years, changes in the agricultural industry had an impact on this farm. In the early days the Wunderly family did not have a car so they travelled to Edmonton by horse and wagon or sleigh to sell their products. The trip took four hours each way. In 1947, they purchased a Ford half-ton truck. At the same time they bought a little Ford tractor, plow and cultivator. Before that all the field work, including cutting and raking hay was done with horses. The loose hay needed for winter feed was stored in the hayloft of the livestock barn to prevent rot. Pitching it into a wagon and putting it up for storage was incredibly physically demanding. The labour involved necessitated smaller farms with smaller farm buildings like the circa 1928 barn. By the 1950s the transition to baled hay was well underway. New technology had made it easier to prepare and store hay allowing farms to grow and more animals to be cared for.

In 1952, the Wunderly’s started a small dairy farm, initially milking their ten to twelve cows by hand. They soon decided to expand and the following year their son George built the rainbow roof dairy barn. They did not get power until the end of the year, so all of the work was done using hand tools. By 1972, small dairies were less viable and George, who now owned the family farm, felt that he needed to either expand the business or get out. His sons were not interested in farming so he decided to sell.

The circa 1928 Barn is valuable as an intact example of a gambrel roof barn. Barns of this type reached the height of popularity in the early twentieth century. They are characterized by their two-slope gable roof which permitted a larger capacity hay loft without increasing the height of the barn side walls. Trusses are used to support the roof. There is no hay hood on this barn but the hayloft door is fairly large and hay hooks or a sling may have been used to hoist the loose hay into the barn.

The 1953 Barn is valuable as an intact example of the rainbow arch roof barn. This design was made popular throughout North America by the pattern and style books of the time. The design was visually appealing and also very functional. Like the gambrel roofed barn, the bowed arch of the rainbow roofed barn provided additional loft space, increasing standing room and storage capacity of the barn; however the laminated beams removed the need for trusses. Other design elements present in this structure are the still extant sliding barn door, the loft door and the flared eaves. The hayloft door on this barn is relatively small a conveyor or elevator was likely used to lift bales of hay into the hay loft.

George Wunderly is important as a prominent member of the Strathcona County community. He has been a land owner, a businessman and councillor. George’s family lived on this farm when he was born. He later purchased it from his father and continued to operate the dairy business until 1972. After George sold the dairy, he had a variety of occupations before retiring in 1988. He worked for a local house builder, was offered a partnership in a service station, sold real estate and later cars and was elected as a councillor for one term in Strathcona County.

Character-Defining Elements
The character defining elements as expressed in the form, massing, and materials of these buildings include:

Circa 1928 Barn:
• The side-facing bellcast gambrel roof barn with hayloft
• The wood shingle roofing which remains on one side of the barn
• The symmetrical façade
• The frame construction
• The concrete foundation
• The pattern, style and construction of all authentic wood windows and doors and all authentic window and door openings

1953 Barn:
• The rainbow roof
• The projecting eaves and verges
• The symmetrical façade
• The vertical plank sliding door
• The contrasting colour wood trim
• The corner boards
• The pattern, style and construction of all wood windows and doors and all authentic window and door openings
• The one story barn addition including:
o The medium pitch gable roof
o The brick chimney
o The vertical plank door
o The shiplap cladding
o The contrasting colour wood trim
o The pattern, style and construction of all wood windows and doors and all window and door openings


Street Address: 52334 Range Road 225
Community: Sherwood Park
Boundaries: Lot 1B, Block 2, Plan 1421868
Contributing Resources: Buildings: 2

ATS Legal Description:
Mer Rge Twp Sec LSD

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

Latitude Longitude CDT Datum Type
53.5033 -113.2225 GPS NAD83

UTM Reference:
Northing Easting Zone CDT Datum Type


Recognition Authority: Local Governments (AB)
Designation Status: Municipal Historic Resource
Date of Designation: 2014/10/30

Historical Information

Built: 1928 to 1953
Significant Date(s) 1928 to 1953
Theme(s) Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life : Architecture and Design
Peopling the Land : Settlement
Historic Function(s): Food Supply : Farm or Ranch
Current Function(s): Food Supply : Farm or Ranch
Context: This farm site is located is located in a country residential subdivision southeast of Sherwood Park, in the Wye District, in Strathcona County.

Additional Information

Object Number: 4664-0369
Designation File:
Related Listing(s):
Heritage Survey File:
Website Link:
Data Source: Strathcona County, Planning and Development Services, 2001 Sherwood Drive, Sherwood Park, AB T8A 3W7
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