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Greenridge Farm

Dewberry, Near

Other Names:

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place
The Greenridge Farm site is a farmstead with buildings and structures dating to between 1920 and 1948. These include a main house, horse barn, well house / blacksmith shop, machine shop, moveable teacherage, and hired man's house, plus landscape elements such as a curved driveway, stone retaining wall, lawns, and windbreaks of spruce, carrigana, and lilac plantings. The Farm is located on one quarter section (about 64.7 hectares) with the buildings on a ridge of land spread over approximately four hectares.

Heritage Value
The heritage value of Greenridge Farm lies in its representation of experimental ideas in progressive farming and construction from the early to mid twentieth century.

A large mixed-farming operation, the site includes early examples of poured concrete buildings and a variety of other innovations from the 1920s and 1930s developed by Lee Fox Green. The use of cast-in-place concrete as an above-ground construction material was particularly unusual, but the farm was also the first in the area to have electricity and running water; the first with such specialized purpose-built structures as a pig barn, machine shop, and blacksmith's shop; and the site of a Green invention, a light-weight construction block known as Dual block. The large horse barn housed the area's first stock of purebred Belgian horses, while Green built up a large herd of Aberdeen Angus cattle.

The site demonstrates Green's influence as a leading agriculturalist, as a mentor to recent settlers and an employer of hired hands. Greenridge Farm acted as a social centre for the community, given the Greens' musical interests and activity in such organizations as the United Church, United Farmers of Alberta, and the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation.

Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 2161)


Character-Defining Elements
The heritage value of Greenridge Farm resides in such character-defining elements as:
- form, scale and massing of all buildings;
- spatial orientation of the buildings, structures and landscape elements on the site;
- Main House: solid concrete walls and basement lath and plaster interior, stucco exterior, open verandah bay window, central two-level staircase, gable and dormers roof, basement, attached garage with cedar shake roof;
- Well House/Blacksmith Shop: wood frame with cedar shingle roof, with farm well, livestock trough, and windmill base;
- Horse Barn: solid concrete walls from ground to loft, wood-frame loft, hip roof, cement supported driveway, earthen ramp to loft with wooden supports, annex;
- Machine Shop: lower half cement construction built into hillside on three sides, upper portion of wood frame construction with slate roof, pit for working under machinery;
- Pig Barn: main barn of wood frame construction with cedar shingle hip roof, two dormers, and cement floor, with two brooder houses and a scale shed, with the remains of a platform scale, interior electrical and plumbing systems, underground drainage system and overhead manure bucket track;
- Teacherage: wood frame designed to be moved on wheels with removable axle, aluminum roof, wood floor;
- Hired Man's House: wood frame and Dual block construction, stucco siding;
- landscape elements such as: curved driveway, stone retaining wall, lawns, windbreaks of spruce, carrigana, and lilac plantings, and view of the farm site from top of ridge.


Location



Street Address:
Community: Dewberry, Near
Boundaries: SW 23-54-4-W4
Contributing Resources: Buildings: 6
Landscape(s) or Landscape Feature(s): 3

ATS Legal Description:
Mer Rge Twp Sec LSD
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
54
54
54
54
23
23
23
23
03
04
05
06

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

Latitude/Longitude:
Latitude Longitude CDT Datum Type
53.673594 -110.494097 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: 2006/02/16

Historical Information

Built: 1920 to 1948
Significant Date(s)
Theme(s) Developing Economies : Technology and Engineering
Peopling the Land : Settlement
Historic Function(s): Food Supply : Farm or Ranch
Residence : Single Dwelling
Current Function(s): Food Supply : Farm or Ranch
Architect:
Builder: Lee Fox Green
Context: HISTORICAL CONTEXT

In 1905, the Canadian Northern Railway completed a line between Lloydminster and Edmonton. As it did so, vast areas of open parkland became immediately viable for homesteading. As the incipient farms spread out from the rail line, tiny farming communities sprang up to serve them. One of these was called Dewberry, 50 km northwest of Lloydminster, where a store and post office was erected in 1907. Among the settlers in the district was Lee Green from Illinois, who filed for a homestead on NE26 TP54 R4 W4, 10 kilometres north of Dewberry, in 1909. He also took two quarters with South African scrip four miles to the north of this, and proceeded to prove them up before returning to Illinois to marry Aleta Fleming in 1912.

Together, Lee and Aleta began to expand their farm, and during the next several years, they raised four children. Lee Green was a progressive mixed farmer, apparently bringing the first gasoline powered breaking outfit to the area. He also brought in a highly valued stock of purebread Belgian horses, and built up a large herd of Aberdeen Angus cattle. As his farm expanded, he required more land, so he purchased all of section 23 TP54 R4, just to the south, from the CPR. It was on the southwest quarter of this section that he centered his operation during the 1920's, having several buildings erected over the course of the next two decades, including a house, a large barn, a separate pig barn, a blacksmith shop, a machine shop, and a separate residence for hired help, for, with the success of his operation, he was able to hire several workers. He even built a teacherage, for teachers of the nearby Riverton School in 1948. By this time, the farm became a model for the district, which had become known as Greenlawn, and the farm Greenridge. The viability of the expanded operation had been given validity by the extension of a CPR line through Dewberry in 1927.

Being among the more prominent residents in the district, Lee and Aleta were active in community affairs, especially musical, for they were both musicians. They were also both prominent parishioners of the local United Church. Lee was active politically as well, being involved in the local branch of the United Farmers. In 1949, he would run, unsuccessfully, as a CCF candidate in the federal election for the riding of Battle River.

Additional Information

Object Number: 4665-1046
Designation File: DES 2161
Related Listing(s):
Heritage Survey File: HS 81995
Website Link:
Data Source:
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