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Key Number: HS 24055
Site Name: McNaught Homestead
Other Names:
Site Type: 0101 - Residential: Single Dwelling
0501 - Farming and Ranching: Farm or Ranch House


ATS Legal Description:
Twp Rge Mer
71 10 6

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


Type Number Date View


Plan Shape:
Superstructure Cover:
Roof Structure:
Roof Cover:
Exterior Codes:
Exterior: N/A
Interior: N/A
Environment: N/A
Condition: N/A
Alterations: N/A


Construction: Construction Date:
Construction Started
Usage: Usage Date:

Owner: Owner Date:

Architect: N/A
Builder: N/A
Craftsman: N/A
History: The Homestead
The McNaught Homestead dates from about 1911. Six building have been identified as being significant to the initial settlement of the homestead with may others being added over time. Stylistically, the early buildings reflect the pragmatism of the settlers. The structures are a testament to the building materials and skills of the period and place.
In the spring of 1909, a group of excommunicated Methodists from Ontario known as the Christian Association (or Burnsites after their leader, Nelson Burns) made their way in convoy to the western edge of the Grande Prairie in northwestern Alberta, and began to carve out homesteads. The district along the lower Beaverlodge River was just being surveyed, and this group of 31 settlers came to constitute what would become the first successful attempt at group settlement in the Peace River Country. They were soon joined by other settlers from Ontario, some of them Christian Association members, some not. Among the latter was Charles McNaught who, with his wife Eliza, arrived in the district in June, 1911 to visit his brother, Sam, who had settled in the area two years earlier.

Taken by the country, Charles and Eliza also decided to try establishing a farm there, taking two quarter-sections of land off the Beaverlodge River on NE15 and SE22 TP71 R10 W6 with Metis scrip, and one on NE25 TP70 R11 off the Red Willow River by homesteading. They decided to reside on NE15, and so they constructed a log dwelling, a barn, and other structures, and proceeded to work the land. In 1914, they received title to both NE15 and SE22.

Being at some distance from the more heavily settled areas of the south Peace River Country, around Lake Saskatoon and Grande Prairie, the settlers around the Beaverlodge constituted a tightly knit group, most of whom were members of the Christian Association. Many non-members participated in Association activities. Though the Association itself would eventually go into decline, due partly to the lack of any formal church structure, the community remained closely connected, with many families inter-marrying. The children of Charles and Eliza McNaught would remain on the family homestead for years, becoming strong pillars of the community. Indeed, three of them came to serve as local schoolteachers.

Of all the McNaught children, Euphemia would become the most famous. She was born in Glenmorris, Ontario, and traveled to the Beaverlodge district in a covered wagon with her family in 1912. Like her sisters, she enrolled at the Calgary Normal School, and upon graduation took up teaching as a profession. Her proclivity for painting had been noticed however, and upon encouragement from instructors at the Normal School, she enrolled in the Ontario College of Art, from where she graduated in 1929. Among her instructors were J.E.H. MacDonald and Arthur Lismer. Her work received favorable criticism, and she was able to finance her way through college with several scholarships. Upon graduating, she taught art at Mount Royal College and the Ontario Ladies College at Whitby, but soon returned to the family homestead near Beaverlodge. The environment of northwestern Canada soon became her principal subject, and she was able to sustain herself largely though the sale of her paintings, and by conducting art classes for local residents.

Euphemia McNaught soon became a household name throughout the Peace River Country, and, in time, she gained something of a national reputation as well, with paintings being acquired by the Alberta Art Foundation and the National Gallery. In 1977, she received the Alberta Achievement Award, and, in 1982, she became the first recipient in art of the Sir Frederick Haultain Award. In 1992, she was the focus of a special National Film Board video, and in the years that followed her work was the subject of special exhibits by the Edmonton Art Gallery and other galleries throughout the West. She passed away in 2001 at age 99.

The historical significance of the buildings constituting the McNaught Homestead are two-fold. As structural evidence of the homesteading period in the Peace River Country, they constitute one of the most complete collection of buildings in the region dating from the first settlement wave (1910-14). They are also important in constituting the home of Euphemia McNaught for most of her life, with the former Appleton School on the site having served as her studio.

One of the most complete early homesteads in the northwestern part of the province, and the home of one of Alberta’s more highly recognized artists.


Status: Status Date:

Designation Status: Designation Date:
Provincial Historic Resource
Register: N/A
Record Information: Record Information Date:
Tatiana Gilev 2003/10/30


Alberta Register of Historic Places: 4665-0873
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