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Key Number: HS 29361
Site Name: Canadian Pacific Railway Station
Other Names:
Site Type: 0803 - Transportation - Rail Facility: Station


ATS Legal Description:
Twp Rge Mer
19 28 4

Address: 406 - 1 Street SW
Number: 6
Street: 1 SW
Avenue: 4 SW
Town: High River
Near Town:


Type Number Date View


Plan Shape: Rectangular Long Facade
Storeys: Storeys: 1
Foundation: Basement/Foundation Wall Material: Stone
Superstructure: Stone
Superstructure Cover:
Roof Structure: Bellcast, any roof type
Roof Cover:
Exterior Codes: Massing of Units: Single Detached
Wings: None
Number of Bays - Facade: First or Ground Floor, 9 Bays or more
Wall Design and Detail: None
Roof Trim - Eaves: Projecting Eaves
Roof Trim Material - Eaves: Unknown
Roof Trim - Verges: Brackets
Roof Trim Material - Verges: Unknown
Towers, Steeples and Domes: None
Towers, Steeples and Domes Location-Side to Side: None
Towers, Steeples and Domes Location-Front to Rear: None
Dormer Type: Gable, Projecting Eaves
Chimney Location - Side to Side: Side Left
Chimney Location - Front to Rear: Offset Front
Chimney Stack Material: Stone
Chimney Stack Massing: Single
Roof Trim - Special Features: None
Window - Structural Opening Shape: Flat
Window - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Head: None
Window - Sill Type: None
Window - Sill Material: None
Window - Trim Within Structural Opening - Head: Plain
Window - Trim Within Structural Opening - Sides: Plain
Window - Number of Sashes: Two, Double Hung
Window - Opening Mechanism: Unknown
Window - Special Types: None
Window - Pane Arrangements: Other
Main Entrance - Location: Off-Centre (Facade)
Main Entrance - Location: 2 or More (Facade)
Main Entrance - Structural Opening Shape: Flat
Main Entrance - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Head: None
Main Entrance - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Sides: None
Main Entrance - Trim Within Structural Opening - Head: Plain
Main Entrance - Trim Within Structural Opening - Sides: Plain
Main Entrance - Number of Leaves: 1
Main Entrance - Leaves - Special Feature: Glass
Main Stairs - Location and Design: First or Ground Floor, Open Railing
Main Stairs - Direction: Straight
Main Porch - Type: None
Exterior: Sandstone foundation.
A continuous projected stone sill at 2 1/2' around building. Extended eaves with large brackets around entire building.
Interior: No structural changes. Have set up museum using existing railway station layout. Ground floor. General and ladies wating rooms, separate express and baggage rooms. Staff acommodations in loft.
Environment: N/A
Condition: Structure - Very Good Repair - Very Good
Alterations: N/A


Construction: Construction Date:
Usage: Usage Date:
Railway Station

Owner: Owner Date:
Canadian Pacific Railway

Architect: N/A
Builder: Canadian Pacific Railway
Craftsman: N/A
History: This was the second station in High River and the sandstone used in the building was removed from a former Calgary station. The overhang or lookouts are approximately five foot and are supported by a wood beam over heavy wood brackets resting on sandstone corbels and bolted to the wall. There are two entrance doors on each side of building as well as the double doors on each side for baggage and express.
1891 - C7E Rail into High River 1907 - Water tank and corrals erected 1911 - April construction began 1912 - Summer opened - cost $19,118.00 total 1973 - Sold to Town of High River 'Highwood museum marks 25th year' - Herald May 26, 1986 by Bob Shiels - Although the real crunch won't arrive until July 1, it appears that the tourist season already is more or less with us now. The summer season began, unofficially, during the Victoria Day weekend. Alberta Culture's 12 provincial historic sites, including the Cochrane Ranche, Head-Smashed-in Buffalo Jump, Leitch Collieries and the Frank Slide interpretive Centre, opened for the summer May 17. The latter actually is open year-round, but now it's on summer hours. Depending on the site, these hours run from 10 a.m. to 6 or 9 p.m. Here in High River, we (pardon the 'we' but I live here now) officially reopened the Museum of The Highwood 10 days ago. It was a gala occasion because this is the museum's 25th anniversary. An anniversary cake was eaten up, and three women received plaques from Mayor Lucille Dougherty for long and dedicated service as volunteer workers. A little box-like building south of the museum serves as the town's tourist information booth, but better things are planned. The town is acquiring an old railway dining car and hopes to add a diesel locomotive and caboose. The railway theme is appropriate because the Museum of The Highwood is one-half of a former railway station in Calgary. Built in 1893, the sandstone building was replaced in 1911.
Half the stones were shipped on flatcars to High River and half to Claresholm. Masons reassembled them. When they ceased being stations, both became museums. Joy Duncan, master of ceremonies for the anniversary party here, advised that summer hours at the museum are 10 to 5 (1 to 5 Sundays) and visitors can buy local crafts and souvenirs of the Highwood country. The interior has been extensively renovated, and there's always someone on hand to show you around.
Poking about by myself, I inspected fossils found along the Highwood River (no imports), a dresser set from the Duke of Windsor's EP Ranch, a restored blacksmith shop, a pioneer kitchen and a barber shop (haircuts 25 cents, shaves 15 cents) from an old hotel that once stood across the street. Two items in particular caught my eye -- an 1873 Winchester repeating rifle and Guy Weadick's hat. That rifle could be a real collector's item. Jimmy Stewart helped make it famous in a great, though maybe underrated, move called Winchester '73. As for Guy Weadick's hat, I hadn't realized how really distinctive it is.
You've seen it a million times in old pictures. There's more, of course, and you are invited to come on down here and see it all for yourself.
* * *

The Canadian Pacific Railway Station is a one and one-half storey building situated on four lots directly east of the Town of High River's commercial core. Built between 1911 and 1912, the station features a rough-faced sandstone exterior, bell-cast hipped roof, wide-bracketed eaves, and gable dormers.


The heritage value of the Canadian Pacific Railway (C.P.R.) Station lies in its fine and rare representation of early sandstone railway station architecture. It also possesses heritage value for its historic role as the main facilitator of transportation for the Town and district and as a symbol of the centrality of the railways in opening Alberta to settlement.

High River's C.P.R. Station is an architectural rarity in the Prairies - a rural sandstone railway station not constructed according to a standardized plan. Most other stations in the rural communities of western Canada were made of wood and built on the basis of architectural templates. The High River station was originally constructed in Calgary in 1893 and consisted of two buildings joined by a continuous canopy. The desire for a new station in Calgary and the growing need for improved railway facilities in the promising settlements of High River and Claresholm convinced the C.P.R. to dismantle the Calgary station stone by stone between 1910 and 1911 and to reconstruct - with modifications - the west half of it in High River and the east half in Claresholm. Built between 1911 and 1912, the High River station featured a rough-faced sandstone exterior, bell-cast hipped roof, and wide bracketed eaves. Unlike its predecessor in Calgary, the High River station possessed no second floor and included decorative dormers on only two elevations - the front and track-side - rather than on all four. This impressive sandstone structure, built according to a modification of the original Calgary plan, remains a significant local landmark in High River and an elegant model of railway design.

In 1891, construction on a southern extension of the Calgary and Edmonton (C & E) Railway line was initiated. High River initially emerged along the track as a siding and was later integrated into a newly subdivided townsite. The community expanded rapidly. In 1901 it was incorporated as a village; by 1911, it boasted five banks, four hotels, and had become a stock- and grain-shipping centre for southern Alberta. High River's growing importance and future promise suggested the need for an upgrade of the simple, wood-framed station erected in the community in 1893. The C.P.R. dismantled its Calgary station and reassembled the western half of it in High River between 1911 and 1912. The station was the main transport facilitator in the district between 1912 and 1965. Improvements in highway infrastructure led to the closure of the station in 1965, though the C.P.R. Dayliner continued to stop at High River until 1971. In the early 1970s, the station was converted into the Museum of the Highwood. It remains a powerful symbol of the historic significance of the railway in fostering economic and social development in Alberta.

Source: Alberta Community Development, Heritage Resource Management Branch (File: Des. 474)


The character-defining elements of the C.P.R. Station in High River include such features as:
- mass, form, and style;
- wood-shingled, bell-cast hipped roof;
- decorative dormers and rough-faced sandstone chimney;
- rough-faced sandstone exterior;
- wide bracketed eaves;
- fenestration pattern and style, including stippled office windows;
- pattern and style of doors;
- box beams in roof;
- original interior features, including wood paneling, mouldings, flooring, doors, windows, fixtures, and fittings.


Status: Status Date:

Designation Status: Designation Date:
(not assigned)
Provincial Historic Resource

Record Information: Record Information Date:
WANG 1981/02/02


Alberta Register of Historic Places: 4665-1337
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