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Hunt House (H.B.C. Log Cabin)

Calgary

Other Names:
H. B. C. Log Cabin
HBC Log Cabin
Hudson's Bay Company Log Cabin
Hunt House

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place
The Hunt House (H.B.C. Log Cabin) is a late nineteenth century, one-storey log building located on a single lot near the confluence of the Bow and Elbow Rivers in Calgary. The house is a simple structure, featuring a wood shingled exterior, gable roof, and brick chimney. Two lean-to additions are evident on the sides of the building.

Heritage Value
The heritage value of the Hunt House lies in its association with the work of the Hudson's Bay Company (H.B.C.) in Alberta and early settlement in Calgary. It also possesses heritage value as a rare example of early architecture in southern Alberta.

In 1875, one year after their arrival in Alberta, the North-West Mounted Police (N.W.M.P.) built Fort Calgary at the confluence of the Bow and Elbow Rivers. Shortly thereafter, the I.G. Baker Company of Montana and the H.B.C. built trading posts in the area. The H.B.C. site, situated on the east side of the Elbow River, also contained several auxiliary buildings, including the Hunt House, which was probably constructed at some point between 1876 and 1881 and likely served as a residence for a freighter or interpreter with the company. The establishment of law and order, the beginnings of commerce and trade, and the federal government's decision to allow for large ranching leases in southern Alberta attracted cattlemen, settlers, and businessmen to Fort Calgary in the early 1880s. With the arrival of the transcontinental railway in 1883, the small tent and shack community began its transformation into an urban centre.

The Hunt House is one of the oldest buildings in Alberta and is one of the few remaining structural reminders of the presence and significance of the Hudson's Bay Company in the province. The Hunt House is one of less than 25 extant buildings in Alberta constructed prior to 1882 and is also Calgary's oldest building on its original site. It remains one of only three H.B.C. buildings still standing in the province and thus provides a vital historic connection to the company that established so much of the early economy, transportation network, and social life of what would become Alberta. The building original log frame remains, although it is now hidden behind shingles. The style of the original log building expresses a rare form of construction: unlike many H.B.C. buildings, the Hunt House did not employ post-on-sill construction, but rather the dovetail corner method typical of southern Alberta and expressive of American cultural influences.

Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 345)



Character-Defining Elements
The character-defining elements of the Hunt House (H.B.C. Log Cabin) include such features as:
- mass and form;
- original log construction with dove-tail corners;
- gable roof;
- partial cellar;
- original interior elements, including barber pole supporting cellar roof;
- window and door openings.



Location



Street Address: 806 - 9 Avenue SE
Community: Calgary
Boundaries: Lot 1, Block 2, Plan 7510100
Contributing Resources: Buildings: 1

ATS Legal Description:
Mer Rge Twp Sec LSD
5
1
24
14
6 (ptn.)

PBL Legal Description (Cadastral Reference):
Plan Block Lot Parcel
7510100
2
1


Latitude/Longitude:
Latitude Longitude CDT Datum Type
51.043901 -114.041737 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: 1978/01/18

Historical Information

Built: 1876 to 1876
Significant Date(s)
Theme(s) Developing Economies : Trade and Commerce
Historic Function(s): Residence : Single Dwelling
Current Function(s):
Architect:
Builder:
Context: HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE

This building is historically important to Calgary as the City's oldest extant dwelling on its original site. It is of provincial importance being the oldest-standing Hudson's Bay Company building in southern Alberta, and among the three oldest in the Province. Its significant associations are with the Hudson's Bay Company, the operations of the North-West MOunted Police in Calgary, and the beginning of settlement around Fort Calgary.

ARCHITECTURAL SIGNIFICANCE

While most Hudson's Bay Company buildings were of post-on-sill construction, this building displays dovetail corners, typical of southern Alberta at that time and due to American influence. This is one of very few log buildings surviving in Calgary's changing architectural heritage.

Additional Information

Object Number: 4665-0478
Designation File: DES 0345
Related Listing(s):
Heritage Survey File: HS 24722
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. 345)
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