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Roland Michener House


Other Names:
Michener Home
Michener Residence

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place
The Roland Michener House is a late nineteenth century, one and one-half storey building located on a single lot in a residential area of Lacombe, immediately adjacent to the town's business core. It features wood siding, a front-gabled shingle roof with rear cross-gable, and raised front porch that wraps around two sides of the home and is sheltered by a shingled roof supported by columns.

Heritage Value
The heritage value of the Roland Michener House lies in its association with Roland Michener, the Governor-General of Canada from 1967 until 1974.

In 1899, Reverend Edward Michener accepted a posting as a Methodist minister for the Lacombe circuit. He took up residence in the town's modest parsonage, located just north of the Methodist Church. On April 19, 1900 Daniel Roland Michener was born in this simple frame house that now bears his name. His family resided here for six weeks after his birth before moving to Red Deer. The home has been largely restored to its turn-of-the-century appearance.

Roland Michener gained renown as an accomplished lawyer, politician, and statesman in Canada. He received his undergraduate degree at the University of Alberta before pursuing graduate studies at Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship. Upon returning to Canada, he worked for many years as a lawyer in Toronto before launching his political career. He was first elected to political office in 1945 when he won a seat in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. Eight years later he was voted into the Canadian Parliament representing St. Paul's, Toronto. From 1957 until 1962, Michener served as Speaker of the House of Commons and was acclaimed as one of the best Speakers since Confederation. He also held posts as the High Commissioner to India and the first Canadian Ambassador to Nepal.

Michener is best known for his work as Canada's Governor-General, a position he held from 1967 until 1974. During his tenure, he directed several significant developments in the office of the Governor-General. Michener presided over the nation's centennial celebrations, presented the first Order of Canada honours, relaxed some of the formal protocols associated with the Governor-General, and instituted periodic meetings with provincial Lieutenant-Governors. He and his accomplished wife, Norah, were a progressive vice-regal couple who travelled extensively in Canada and abroad. A vigorous sportsman, "Canada's Jogging Governor-General" - as Michener was sometimes called - also championed physical activity for Canadians during his term through his advocacy on behalf of the Participaction Program. In honour of his service, he was presented the Royal Victorian Chain by Queen Elizabeth II in 1973, one of only two Canadians to have received the tribute. The Government of Alberta celebrated Michener's accomplishments by naming a mountain in his honour. Michener passed away in 1991.

Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 302)

Character-Defining Elements
The character-defining elements of the Roland Michener House include such features as:
- original massing, form, and style;
- wood siding;
- shingled front-gabled roof;
- fenestration pattern and style, including wood frames and single-hung windows;
- panelled front door with transom;
- corbelled chimney stack;
- hardwood floors;
- interior mouldings and trims;
- balustraded staircase to second floor.


Street Address: 5036 - 51 Street
Community: Lacombe
Boundaries: Lot 12, Block 1, Plan RN1
Contributing Resources: Buildings: 1

ATS Legal Description:
Mer Rge Twp Sec LSD
2 (ptn.)

PBL Legal Description (Cadastral Reference):
Plan Block Lot Parcel
RN1 (I)

Latitude Longitude CDT Datum Type
52.464357 -113.732501 GPS NAD 83

UTM Reference:
Northing Easting Zone CDT Datum Type


Recognition Authority: Province of Alberta
Designation Status: Provincial Historic Resource
Date of Designation: 1977/06/28

Historical Information

Built: 1894 to 1894
Period of Significance: 1900 to 1900
Theme(s): Governing Canada : Politics and Political Processes
Historic Function(s): Residence : Single Dwelling
Current Function(s): Leisure : Museum
Context: N/A

Additional Information

Object Number: 4665-0203
Designation File: DES 0302
Related Listing(s): 4664-0418
Heritage Survey File: HS 31477
Website Link:
Data Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch, Old St. Stephen's College, 8820 - 112 Street, Edmonton, AB T6G 2P8 (File: Des. 302)
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