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Smeltzer House

Sherwood Park

Other Names:
Smeltzer House Visual Arts Centre
Smeltzer Place

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Heritage Value

Character-Defining Elements


Street Address: 1 Broadmoor Boulevard
Community: Sherwood Park
Boundaries: Plan 6447 KS, portion of Parcel D
Contributing Resources:

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

PBL Legal Description (Cadastral Reference):
Plan Block Lot Parcel
6447 KS

D (ptn.)

Latitude Longitude CDT Datum Type
53.522276 -113.319248

UTM Reference:
Northing Easting Zone CDT Datum Type


Recognition Authority: Province of Alberta
Designation Status: Registered Historic Resource Rescinded
Date of Designation: 1986/11/07

Historical Information

Built: 1920 to 1920
Significant Date(s)
Historic Function(s): Residence : Single Dwelling
Current Function(s):

Maurice Smeltzer was born in Huron County Ontario in 1867. He remained in Ontario until 1891 when he came west to deliver some workhorses to the Edmonton district. He arrived on one of the first trains to reach South Edmonton over the newly completed Calgary and Edmonton (C & E) Railway. He returned to Edmonton in 1892 with another load of workhorses and with the intention of homesteading in the area. He was, therefore, part of a minor land rush to the Edmonton area following the completion of the Calgary and Edmonton Railway.

Economic conditions during the mid-1890s forced him to seek other employment in order to supplement the income from his agricultural pursuits. He mined coal in Edmonton, worked in the lumber industry for J. Walters and D.R. Fraser and went trapping in order to earn the necessary cash for the development of his homestead.

After the turn of the century, improved economic conditions permitted him to concentrate on his mixed farming operations. His success in this regard is evident in the various prizes he won in local exhibitions. In 1909 he won a bronze medal for the best milling oats and a silver medal for the best sample of six-rowed barley. In the same year he also won a medal for a champion bacon boar. His success is also evident in the house he constructed in 1920. Maurice continued to farm until his death in 1939. The farm continued to be operated by his son Frank until 1969.

The Smeltzer Residence is therefore associated with the theme of settlement from its establishment to its consolidation in the Salisbury area between 1892 and 1920.


The design of the Smeltzer House is representative of a house type that appeared across Canada during the first twenty-five years of the twentieth century, and persists, in a modified form, to the present. It is an adaptation of popular Georgian residential styles that can be traced back to Georgian Colonial designs that appeared in the early eighteenth century in the northeastern U.S. The Georgian Style was soon transplanted to Canadian soil during the period of American immigration from 1783 to 1820. It gave rise to a variety of Georgian-inspired styles, such as the Ontario Cottage style, which was popular during the 1830s to the 1850s, and one of the most common western Canadian house types, the Canadian four-square.

The Georgian Revival, which occurred throughout North America from the 1890s to the 1920s, was largely responsible for the emergence of what could be called the Canadian four-square style. In the U.S., residential designs referred to it as the American four-square, the Two-Storey Pyramid or the Cornbelt Cube, which was ultimately derived from the same Georgian Colonial sources as the Canadian Four-Square. Like the American Four-Square, the Canadian version is a one and one-half to two and one-half-storey squarish structure with a pyramidal or hipped roof. A single tall chimney stack or a pair of them, one or more dormers, and often a one-storey veranda wrapped around one, two or three sides of the building are also common characteristics. Classical detailing is sometimes present, including dentils under the eaves overhang (soffit) and columns of pillars supporting the veranda.

By 1910, as both domestic styles were gradually being stripped of their Georgian-classical detailing, they came to look very similar in appearance. The primary difference between the two styles, other than historical development, was simply location, one north and the other south of the 49 Parallel. However, there does seem to have been a trend in Canadian four-square designs to employ the dormer and veranda more frequently than the lone porch of the American four-square.

The site includes a brick carriage house also constructed in 1920 and a three-door garage that was added later. Both structures have been incorporated into the use of the site as a crafts centre.

The site also contains a number of spruce trees that date from the 1920s. They were probably planted to form a windbreak rather than to create a formal aesthetic effect.

Additional Information

Object Number: 4665-0671
Designation File: DES 0413
Related Listing(s):
Heritage Survey File: HS 20245
Website Link: N/A
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. 413)
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