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Corner Business Block

Lacombe

Other Names:
Business Block
Paisley Block
Pederson Block

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place


Heritage Value


Character-Defining Elements


Location



Street Address: 4913, 4915 and 4919 - 50 Avenue
Community: Lacombe
Boundaries: Plan RN1(I), Block 5, Lot 6 and a portion of Lot 5
Contributing Resources:

ATS Legal Description:
Mer Rge Twp Sec LSD
4
26
40
19
15 (ptn.)

PBL Legal Description (Cadastral Reference):
Plan Block Lot Parcel
RN1 (I)
RN1 (I)
5
5
6
5 (ptn.)



Latitude/Longitude:
Latitude Longitude CDT Datum Type
52.462960 -113.730079

UTM Reference:
Northing Easting Zone CDT Datum Type

Recognition

Recognition Authority: Province of Alberta
Designation Status: Registered Historic Resource
Date of Designation: 2003/04/28

Historical Information

Built: 1926 to 1926
Significant Date(s)
Theme(s)
Historic Function(s): Commerce / Commercial Services : Shop or Wholesale Establishment
Current Function(s):
Architect:
Builder:
Context: HISTORICAL CONTEXT

With the completion of the Calgary and Edmonton (C & E) Railway in 1891, a number of stations were erected to accommodate the expanding agricultural population along the rail line. Next to several of their stations, the C & E subdivided town sites, several of which soon grew to some size. One of these was Lacombe, which was named after the venerated Oblate priest. In 1896, Lacombe was incorporated as a village, and, in 1902, it became a town with over 500 people, possessing most of the amenities required of a northern prairie farming community. As Barnett Avenue, running east and west, had emerged as the 'main street' of the village, it was obvious that the property on the corner of Barnett and Railway would play a significant role in the development of Lacombe, despite its unusual shape.

In 1901, this property was owned by a prominent local businessman named C.A. Daykin, who operated a general store there. In 1904, it was acquired by another prominent businessman named Alf Day, who constructed a two-storey brick business block on it, shaped like a flatiron. That was also the year in which the Merchant's Bank of Canada built their larger (and more famous) three-storey flatiron building at the east end of the block on Barnett Avenue. In 1906, a major fire would destroy the entire flatiron block save for the Merchant's Bank. This included Day's business block, which had served as a drug store operated by N.I. McDerimid.

Undeterred, Day built another two-storey business block on this site, with a brick veneer and enough room to accommodate several businesses. Unfortunately however, another fire destroyed most of this building in 1928. By this time, however, Day had divested himself of this property, and its new owner was S.W. Paisley. Paisley soon built a new business block, a single storey frame building with brick veneer. In 1947, it would be taken over by a chiropractor named William Pederson, under whom a second storey was added to the structure in 1951. A number of businesses operated from this premises in the years that followed.

HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE

The historical significance of the Corner Business Block in Lacombe lies in its provision of structural evidence of the functioning of the business centre of this northern prairie town during the early and middle part of the twentieth century. Due to the major fire that ravished the flatiron block of the town in 1906, newly constructed buildings had to be of brick. As a result, there were more brick business buildings in Lacombe than any other town north of Red Deer during the early part of the century.

(Historical Interest Summary)

Additional Information

Object Number: 4665-0825
Designation File: DES 1949
Related Listing(s):
Heritage Survey File: HS 49654
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. 1949)
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