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Key Number: HS 18054
Site Name: Webster / MacLeod Farmstead
Other Names:
Site Type: 0501 - Farming and Ranching: Farm or Ranch House

Location

ATS Legal Description:
Twp Rge Mer
45 18 4


Address: N/A
Number: N/A
Street: N/A
Avenue: N/A
Other:
Town:
Near Town:

Media

Type Number Date View
Source

Architectural

Style:
Plan Shape: Rectangular
Storeys: Storeys: 1
Foundation: Basement/Foundation Wall Material: None
Superstructure: Horizontal Log
Superstructure Cover:
Roof Structure: Medium Gable
Roof Cover:
Exterior Codes:
Exterior: N/A
Interior: N/A
Environment: N/A
Condition:
Alterations: N/A

Historical

Construction: Construction Date:
Construction Started

Usage: Usage Date:
Barn

Owner: Owner Date:
N/A

Architect: N/A
Builder: N/A
Craftsman: N/A
History: HISTORICAL CONTEXT

With the completion of the Calgary & Edmonton Railway in 1891, land along the rail line became immediately viable for agricultural settlement. In time, settlement spread out from the rail line, where vast acres of newly surveyed prairie land lay waiting to be cleared and broken for farming. With so much land thrown open for homesteading at once, group settlement became viable, whereby members of a particular ethnic or religious group, or other people who simply wished to make a new beginning in the northern prairies, could do so in the same vicinity. This was the case in 1894, when four Norwegian families from Minnesotta settled in the Bardo district near present day Camrose. They were soon joined by other settlers from Norway as well as the northern mid-western United States, and, soon, the district took on a distinctively Norwegian and Lutheran flavour. Among the early migrants from Minnesota was Michael Leeb, who, at age 34, took out a homestead on the northeast quarter of Section 24, Township 45, west of the 4 th Meridian in May, 1901. This was near Dried Meat Creek, 15 km southeast of Camrose. Along with his wife and six children, Leeb soon proved up his property and obtained a patent for it in February, 1905. In 1908, however, he sold his farm to William Webster of Ontario. Webster had come to the area the previous year to join friends who had already settled nearby at Bawlf. He was soon joined by his bride from Ontario, Annie, who later bore them a daughter, Mary.

For a while, the Websters lived in a log cabin which had been built by Leeb and is still standing. On Leeb’s application to patent in 1905, it is described as 24’x 32’ and valued at $250. In about 1914, however, Webster contracted a Bawlf carpenter named Nels Quittem to build a two-story log dwelling on his farm from a standard design devised by the T. Eaton Company, intended specifically for western homesteaders. In the years that followed, the farm no doubt prospered, being near Ohaton and a CPR branch line which was extended through the area in 1909. The Websters continued to occupy the house and farm the land until their daughter, Mary, moved out to join her new husband, Peter Macleod, in 1934. When William passed away in 1939, Peter and Mary Macleod took over the farm and moved into the Webster House. Annie lived there too until passing away in 1945. The house remains standing today, next to the original Leeb homestead house built shortly after 1901.

HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE

The historical significance of the Webster House(s) lies in their association with the development of the farming district around Ohaton, southeast of Camrose, shortly after the turn of the last century. The original Leeb homestead house relates to the Norwegian beginnings of the district. The 1914 Webster House is also significant in that it represents a typical T. Eaton design which was adopted by many homesteaders on the Canadian prairies.

Internal

Status: Status Date:
signed)

Designation Status: Designation Date:
Registered Historic Resource
2003/09/15
Register: N/A
Record Information: Record Information Date:
Tatiana Gilev 2003/11/19

Links

Internet:
Alberta Register of Historic Places: 4665-0847
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