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Beatty House


Other Names:
Beatty Heritage House
Beatty Residence
Jack Beatty Residence
Rimbey Beatty House

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place
The Beatty House was built in the mid-1920s. It is a one-and-a-half storey, wood-frame semi-bungalow with a cross-gable roof and a fieldstone foundation. The exterior walls are clad in horizontal wood siding, while the gable ends are clad in wood shingles. The large gable-roofed front porch features wide arches, concrete-topped fieldstone piers and wooden steps. An enclosed, gable-roofed porch projects from the rear and a hip-roofed bay window and a fieldstone chimney grace the south elevation. The house is oriented on an east-west axis on a large, landscaped corner lot with numerous trees. The lot boundaries are defined on the south and east sides by a low, fieldstone wall. The Beatty House is located at 5002 - 51 Street and is adjacent to Rimbey's downtown.

Heritage Value
The heritage value of the Beatty House lies in its identity as an excellent example of a post-First World War residence in both its semi-bungalow design and Arts and Crafts style.

Inspired by native dwellings of the Indian sub-continent, the bungalow design became popular for working-class homes throughout the English-speaking world. In North America, the popularity of these small, utilitarian, single-family residences is often interpreted as a reaction against the heavily decorated homes of the period revival movements. Hallmarks of the bungalow design came to include verandas, open floor plans that featured wide interior arches, small kitchens and large sitting rooms with fireplaces. The philosophy behind the bungalow design melded well with the growing Arts and Crafts, or American Craftsman, movement. A response to the mechanization and industrialization of society, this movement emphasized the beauty of natural materials and the skills of individual craftsmen over the efficiencies of machinery and mass production. The movement influenced residential architecture and resulted in the design of practical houses that fostered a sense of domesticity, coziness and harmony. Arts and Crafts style bungalows tend to exhibit a cottage-like aesthetic, which is evoked through their use of natural materials, such as stone foundations, chimneys and fireplaces and exposed wooden ceiling beams, eave brackets and rafter ends. Built-in cabinetry, shelving and storage convey a feeling of craftsmanship and the use of variegated exterior cladding, arched verandas, low-slung roof lines, and overall restrained decoration enhanced their cottage-like appearance. To increase living space, semi-bungalows were created by adding additional rooms in the half-storey. Ironically, Arts and Crafts style bungalows were a mainstay of mail-order catalogues that featured mass-produced house plans and pre-fabricated homes. This trend, coupled with the popularity of magazines and newspapers, both of which often featured Arts and Crafts designs, contributed to the style's rapid adoption across the continent. Examples could be found in Alberta's urban centres by 1910 and in the province's smaller towns by 1920.

The Beatty House in Rimbey was built in the mid-1920s for Jack Beatty. Being a hardware store owner, Beatty was undoubtedly aware of the current trends in house design. Thus, after a 1923 fire that destroyed his store and home, Beatty commissioned local carpenter Joe Jones to construct an Arts and Crafts-inspired semi-bungalow. The Beatty House is a typical semi-bungalow with its low profile, moderately-pitched cross-gable roof, and numerous windows in the front rooms, rear porch and bay window. Its large front veranda, open floor plan, wide interior arches and fireplace are also indicative of its bungalow design and windows in the gable ends indicate the presence of living areas in the half-storey. The house's Arts and Crafts lineage is evident through its cottage-like appearance, which is evoked by its relatively small size and its harmonious relationship with its landscape. This same sensibility is also evident in the use of different types of natural materials on its exterior wall cladding - clapboard siding on the first storey, cedar shingles in the gable ends, and fieldstone in the chimney, foundation veneer and veranda piers. Other exterior elements, such as the oversized eave brackets, exposed rafter ends, and veranda arches also contribute to its cottage-like appearance. Arts and Crafts interior elements include the decorative wooden ceiling beams, petrified wood fireplace, wooden lattice work on the windows and built-in cabinetry and kitchen eating nook. The house is situated on a treed and landscaped lot, which is partially surrounded by a low fieldstone fence.

Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 1563)

Character-Defining Elements
Key elements that define the heritage value of the Beatty House include such elements as its:

- small size and cottage-like appearance;
- cross-gable roof with subordinate gables surmounting the front veranda and rear porch;
- variegated exterior cladding, horizontal clapboard siding on the first storey and wood shingles in the gable ends;
- large front veranda with wide arches, wooden steps and concrete-capped fieldstone piers;
- oversized decorative eave brackets;
- exposed rafter ends;
- gable-roofed veranda on the front (east) elevation with wooden steps, wide arches and concrete-capped fieldstone piers;
- enclosed gable-roofed porch on the rear (west) elevation with numerous six-paned widows, four facing west and two located beside the door and facing south;
- windows in the gable ends, indicative of a usable half-storey;
- wood lattice pattern in the smaller windows and in the upper pane of the double-sash windows;
- fenestration pattern of double-sash windows and smaller single sash windows on the main floor, notably the banks of three double-sash windows in the two front facing rooms and the south-facing, hip-roofed bay window with five double-sash windows;
- fieldstone veneer on the foundation;
- large concrete-capped fieldstone chimney on the south elevation and a smaller concrete-capped fieldstone chimney projecting through the roof near the centre of the house;
- extant historic storm windows on the main floor and basement windows.

- open floor plan with wide, wood-framed arches connecting the public rooms (entry area, dining room and sitting room);
- prominent, decorative ceiling beams in the public areas of the main floor;
- petrified wood fireplace with wooden mantle;
- relatively large kitchen with built-in china cabinet, cupboards and a built in eating nook with fixed table, high backed benches and under bench storage compartments;
- built-in cabinetry in the upstairs bedroom;
- extant historic wood strip floor;
- partially developed half-storey;
- brick construction of the interior portion of the central chimney;
- extant historic mill work, door and window frames and interior doors;
- extant historic fixtures, such as the metal heating vent covers with lattice design, chandeliers, light switches and other hardware;
- extant historic lath and plaster walls;
- remaining remnants of the historic knob and tube wiring system.

- relationship with the landscaping of the large, well-treed corner lot;
- low fieldstone fence with concrete-capped piers defining the south and east boundaries of the lot;
- prominent location adjacent to Rimbey's commercial district.


Street Address: 4938 - 50 Avenue
Community: Rimbey
Boundaries: Portion of SE 29-42-2-W5
Contributing Resources: Building: 1
Landscape(s) or Landscape Feature(s): 1

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

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

Latitude Longitude CDT Datum Type
52.639943 -114.242175 GPS NAD 83

UTM Reference:
Northing Easting Zone CDT Datum Type


Recognition Authority: Province of Alberta
Designation Status: Provincial Historic Resource
Date of Designation: 2010/09/30

Historical Information

Built: 1924 to 1925
Period of Significance:
Historic Function(s): Residence : Single Dwelling
Current Function(s):

By 1901 there was a general store in Rimbey followed shortly by a post office (1902), a school (1903) and assorted other stores, services, hotels and churches. Local farmers and merchants of Lacombe, Bentley and Rimbey obtained a charter in 1909 to build the 'Lacombe and Blindman Valley Electrical Railway' which they constructed from Lacombe over the 35 miles to Rimbey between 1913 and 1919. In 1919, Rimbey was incorporated as a village.

Jack and Violet Beatty arrived from Saskatoon that same year, and opened a hardware store with living quarters on the second storey. After their establishment burned down in 1923, they built a new store, and from 1925 to 1926 they constructed a separate house of grand proportions, fine landscaping and (originally) a low stone wall surrounding the property and what seems in a photograph to be an imposing concrete walkway. Beatty maintained his hardware business throughout his time in Rimbey, but also owned land in the vicinity and ran a fine herd of cattle. He was active in community projects and affairs until his death in 1956.

Additional Information

Object Number: 4665-0755
Designation File: DES 1563
Related Listing(s): 4664-0145
Heritage Survey File: HS 29151
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. 1563)
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