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RITCHIE MILL (NORTH WEST MILL AND FEED COMPANY)

Edmonton

Other Names:
Edmonton Milling
Edmonton Milling Co.
North West Feeds
North West Mill and Feed Co.
Ritchie Mill

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place
The Ritchie Mill (North West Mill and Feed Company) is a visually prominent structure consisting of several building segments that are between two- and four-storeys in height and is located on the south escarpment of the North Saskatchewan River valley, facing across the North Saskatchewan River to the historical Edmonton core.

Heritage Value
The Ritchie Mill (North West Mill and Feed Company), constructed in 1892 by Robert Ritchie, is the oldest surviving flour mill in the Province and is significant because of its association with the early agricultural and industrial development of Alberta. It is associated with early technical innovation, using steam powered, steel rollers instead of the traditional stone wheels that became pitted when grinding hard prairie wheat.

The Ritchie Mill (North West Mill and Feed Company) is also significant because of its association with industrial and agricultural development in an urban setting and with the development of the Strathcona community, one of south Edmonton’s oldest settled neighbourhoods, dating from the arrival of the Calgary and Edmonton Railway in 1892, which terminated at the North Saskatchewan River Valley. The Ritchie Mill (North West Mill and Feed Company) was located at the ‘End of Steel’ to take advantage of the rail link with the southern part of the Province. Elevators were added in 1895 and 1902 and the building functioned as a flour mill until 1948.

Source: Historic Resources Management Branch, Alberta Culture and Community Spirit (File: Des. 195)


Character-Defining Elements
The early industrial architecture of the Ritchie Mill (North West Mill and Feed Company) is expressed in character-defining elements such as:
- form, scale and massing;
- location at ‘End of Steel’ on the south escarpment of the Saskatchewan River Valley;
- the configuration of the original 1892-93 three-storey rectangular mill building with a regular pattern of fenestration at all floors on both the east and west elevations;
- the configuration of the south four-storey elevator with no windows and a solid appearance on the west elevation as well as a one storey former unloading and weighing station on the east side;
- the configuration of the north, partial brick-construction, four-storey building;
- the configuration of the west two-storey addition, perpendicular to the original mill building;
- the various configurations of gable and hip roofs.


Location



Street Address: 10170 Saskatchewan Drive
Community: Edmonton
Boundaries: Plan 802 2354, Block B, Lot 1
Contributing Resources: Buildings: 1

ATS Legal Description:
Mer Rge Twp Sec LSD
4
24
52
29
16 (ptn.)

PBL Legal Description (Cadastral Reference):
Plan Block Lot Parcel
8022354
B
1


Latitude/Longitude:
Latitude Longitude CDT Datum Type
53.523590 -113.494342 GPS NAD 83

UTM Reference:
Northing Easting Zone CDT Datum Type

Recognition

Recognition Authority: Province of Alberta
Designation Status: Provincial Historic Resource
Date of Designation: 1979/05/03

Historical Information

Built: 1892 To 1902
Significant Date(s) 1892 To 1948
Theme(s) Developing Economies : Trade and Commerce
Historic Function(s): Industry : Food and Beverage Manufacturing Facility
Current Function(s): Commerce / Commercial Services : Eating or Drinking Establishment
Commerce / Commercial Services : Shop or Wholesale Establishment
Architect:
Builder:
Context: HERITAGE SIGNIFICANCE

The Ritchie Mill is representative of Alberta's agricultural and industrial heritage. Completed in 1893, it is the oldest surviving flourmill in the province. It was one of the first mills in the West to be equipped with steam-powered steel rollers, a development necessitated by the fact that the conventional stonerollers in use could not grind the hard prairie wheat. It is one of a few remaining pre-1900 industrial structures in Alberta.

Additional Information

Object Number: 4665-0468
Designation File: Des. 195
Related Listing(s):
Heritage Survey File: HS 30538
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. 195)
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