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Key Number: HS 19192
Site Name: Nellie McClung House
Other Names:
Site Type: 0101 - Residential: Single Dwelling


ATS Legal Description:
Twp Rge Mer
23 1 5

Address: 803 - 15 Avenue SW
Number: 3
Street: 8 SW
Avenue: 15 SW
Town: Calgary
Near Town:


Type Number Date View


Style: Queen Anne Revival
Plan Shape:
Storeys: Storeys: 1 1/2
Foundation: Basement/Foundation Wall Material: Concrete
Superstructure Cover:
Roof Structure: Medium Gable
Roof Cover:
Exterior Codes: Wall Design and Detail: Half-Timbering
Main Porch - Type: Open Verandah
Exterior: Open verandah.
Dormer and 2 bay windows half timbering.
Interior: Hardwood floors.
Environment: Amongst older homes and new apartment blocks on a corner lot.
Condition: Structure: Good. Repair: Good.
Alterations: There may have been as many as three additions. The position of the front door was changed to its present position from its original location at 1501 - 7 Street S.W.


Construction: Construction Date:
Construction completed
Usage: Usage Date:
Owner: Owner Date:
Clifford B. Reilly
London and Scottish Assurance Corporation Ltd.
Robert Wesley McClung
W. H. McGuffin
Bessie Lillian Smith
Architect: N/A
Builder: N/A
Craftsman: N/A
History: Home of Nellie McClung, the famous politician, suffragist, and novelist. Member of Alberta legislature from 1921-1926. Nellie and her family moved here from Edmonton in 1923. From here, she commuted to Edmonton each week since she was still an MLA. Several of her books, 'Be Good to Yourself'; 'Flowers for the Living' were composed here. In 1935, the McClungs moved to Victoria.

* *

Building Description: 1 1/2 storey frame house with Tudor revival characteristics, featuring a cross-gable roof and dormer and bay windows. Additions and alterations have been made. House in apparently good condition.
Site History: Built ca. 1910, this house was occupied by Nellie McClung from 1923 to 1935. The house is presently occupied by the owner and 6 boarders.

Heritage Significance: The heritage significance of this house is derived solely from its historical association with Nellie McClung, a well-known political figure, authoress, and early champion of women's rights. Mrs. McClung some of her most notable political and literary successes while resident in this house, which gives this building important historical value.

Historical Importance: This house is of historical importance to the Province for its former association with Nellie McClung. Nellie McClung, a suffragette, was instrumental in gaining the vote for women in Manitoba. The family moved to Edmonton in 1914, where Nellie served as a Member of the Legislative Assembly from 1921 to 1926. In this Calgary home she wrote approximately 6 of her well-known 16 books. Included among her many laurels, were her membership as the only woman on the Dominion War Council and representation as Canada's only female delegate at the League of Nations, both in 1918. In 1929, Nellie was one of the 'Valiant Five' who brought about the legal recognition by the British Privy Council of women as persons. In 1936 she was appointed as the first woman on the CBC Board of Governors.

Architectural Importance: This building is a good example of a house of the early 1900's showing Tudor revival characteristics.

* * *

Nellie McClung Nellie McClung. Born October 29, 1873 in Chatsworth, Ontario, Nellie Letitia Mooney received her education in Manitoba, where she had moved with her family following the proclamation of the 'Homestead Act' of 1871. ... Her fight for women's rights began at the age of 16 when, as a young Manitoba school teacher, she signed a petition for 'Votes for Women'. This was at time when women themselves were not entirely convinced that they should be allowed to vote, saying, 'It's an insult to our husbands to ask for the vote'. However, her involvement with women's rights was postponed for about seventeen years while she raised her family of five, born through her marriage to Robert Wesley McClung, the local pharmacist, in 1896. It was not until she and others became aroused over the atrocious cost of the Manitoba Parliament Buildings, that her involvement in public life once again became active. In the campaign that followed, Nellie took her charges against the Roblin Government right into the Premier's own constituency. Following this, she took up the cause of women's suffrage, which having been started in the 1880's, had mad little progress in Canada by the turn of the century. Nellie helped to change this through her vigorous campaign in Manitoba around 1915. ... As a result of her campaign efforts, Manitoba became the first province to grant full political equality to its women. For in the provincial election of 1916, the Roblin Government toppled and the new government quickly passed a bill granting Manitoba women the right to vote. This provided the impetus for subsequent suffrage legislation passed by Saskatchewan and Alberta within the same year, and followed by British Columbia and Ontario in 1917, Nova Scotia in 1918, New Brunswick in 1919, Prince Edward Island in 1922 and Newfoundland in 1925. In addition, Nellie spearheaded the campaign that led to the enfranchisement in 1918 of all Canadian women. Nellie was known for more than being Canada's most famous suffragette; she was also the most famous and most active woman orator in the west. While her favourite topics were temperance and women's rights, for which she often commanded up to $200 a week in fees, she was also well-versed and highly respected in the political arena. ... However, it was not long before Nellie had party affiliations. After leaving Winnipeg in 1914 to live in Edmonton, she was elected to the Alberta Legislature on the Liberal ticket, in the 1921 election won by the United Farmers of Alberta. While a champion of every law for the betterment of women and children, Nellie was never a strong party member and would often take opposite sides to her party in support of government measures which she considered sound. After her defeat in 1926 as a Liberal candidate in Calgary, she retired from politics to devote more of her time to writing. It was in Calgary that she authored nine of her sixteen books - the most famous being 'Sowing Seeds in Danny'. Her achievements continued after her move to Victoria in 1934. While there, she was appointed the only woman member to the first Board of Broadcast Governors of the Canadian Radio Commission, holding office from 1936-1942, and in 1938; the sole Canadian delegate to the League of Nations in Geneva. Nellie McClung died in Victoria in 1951, but will long be remembered for her own precedent-setting achievements in public life as well as her successful leadership in the cause of political equality for women.

* * *

Draft for Immediate Release October 19, 1978 Edmonton, Alberta Nellie McClung House in Calgary Designated Provincial Historic Resource A Calgary house, once the residence of Nellie McClung, well-known political figure, authoress, and early champion of women's rights, has been designated a Provincial Historic Resource, announced Horst A. Schmid, Minister of Culture. The house, at 803 - 15th Avenue SW, was constructed around 1910. Mrs. McClung resided in it from 1923 to 1935, the years in which she achieved some of her more notable political and literary successes. Originally from Manitoba, Mrs. McClung was instrumental in gaining the vote for women there. The McClung family moved to Edmonton in 1914, where Nellie continued her cause. She became a member of the Legislative Assembly from 1921 to 1926, commuting from Calgary for the last three years of her elected position. Included among her many accomplishments, were her membership as the only woman on the Dominion War Council and representation as Canada's only delegate to the League of Nations, both in 1918. In 1929, she was one of the 'Valiant Five' who brought about the legal recognition, by the British Privy Council, of women as persons. In 1936, Mrs. McClung was appointed the first woman on the CBC board of governors. The former McClung home is a 1 1/2 storey, frame house with Tudor revival characteristics. It has retained some original interior features.


Status: Status Date:
Designation Status: Designation Date:
Municipal A List
Provincial Historic Resource

Register: 05-112
Record Information: Record Information Date:
K. Williams 1989/06/30


Alberta Register of Historic Places: 4665-0560
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