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Key Number: HS 75081
Site Name: Perrenoud House
Other Names:
Site Type: 0101 - Residential: Single Dwelling
0501 - Farming and Ranching: Farm or Ranch House


ATS Legal Description:
Twp Rge Mer
27 4 5

Near Town: Cochrane


Type Number Date View


Plan Shape: Square
Storeys: Storeys: 2
Foundation: Basement/Foundation Wall Material: Concrete
Superstructure: Nailed Frame
Superstructure Cover: Wood: Clapboard (Bevel or Drop Siding)
Roof Structure: Medium Hip
Roof Cover: Wood
Exterior Codes: Massing of Units: Single Detached
Wings: Rear
Wall Design and Detail: Corner Board
Roof Trim - Eaves: Projecting Eaves
Roof Trim - Eaves: Plain Fascia
Roof Trim - Eaves: Plain Soffit
Roof Trim - Eaves: Plain Frieze
Roof Trim Material - Eaves: Wood
Chimney Location - Side to Side: Offset Left
Chimney Location - Front to Rear: Offset Rear
Chimney Stack Material: Brick
Chimney Stack Massing: Single
Window - Structural Opening Shape: Flat
Window - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Head: Plain Flat
Window - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Sides: Plain
Window - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Material: Wood
Window - Sill Type: Plain Slip Sill
Window - Sill Material: Wood
Window - Trim Within Structural Opening - Head: Plain
Window - Trim Within Structural Opening - Sides: Plain
Window - Number of Sashes: Two, Double Hung
Window - Opening Mechanism: Single or Double Hung
Window - Special Types: Bay, Bow or Oriel
Main Entrance - Location: Centre (Facade)
Main Entrance - Structural Opening Shape: Flat
Main Entrance - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Head: Plain Flat
Main Entrance - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Sides: Plain
Main Entrance - Trim Outside Structural Opening Material: Wood
Main Entrance - Trim Within Structural Opening - Head: Plain
Main Entrance - Trim Within Structural Opening - Sides: Plain
Main Entrance - Trim Within Structural Opening - Sides: Side Lights
Main Entrance - Number of Leaves: 1
Main Entrance - Number of Panels Per Leaf: 1
Main Entrance - Leaves - Special Feature: Shaped Panel
Main Stairs - Location and Design: First or Ground Floor, Open Railing
Main Stairs - Direction: Straight
Main Porch - Type: Open Verandah
Main Porch - Special Features: Columns
Main Porch - Special Features: Open Railing
Main Porch - Special Features: Decorated
Main Porch - Material: Wood
Main Porch - Height: First Storey
Exterior: The front features two bay windows. The house is quate plain, unrelieved by much surface decoration save for the turned wooden posts and pillars of the verandah. Its simple centre hall plan and box-like layout suggests the use of a standard plan.
Interior: N/A
Condition: Good (2005)
Alterations: 1992-2005 - House restored; new rear addition (Art Studio).


Construction: Construction Date:
Usage: Usage Date:
Owner: Owner Date:
Charles Perrenoud
Laura Perrenoud
Pat Huchenson
Pat Hutchison
Alberta Community Development
Architect: Catalogue Plan
Builder: Charles Perrenoud
Craftsman: Chapman Brothers
History: Historical Significance:
Charles Perrenoud, the son fo a Bescaucow jeweller immigrated to Canada in 1886. His brother Ernest accompanied him and after working on the Winterbottom Ranch on Sheep Creek for years, the two moved north to Mortimer Coulee to homestead. In 1890, Charles moved to the present site to start his own ranch, while his brother remained in Mortimier Coulee. During the 1880's several ranch operations were begun in the Cochrane area and Charles Perrenoud was no doubt attracted to the region by the prosist of partaking of the perceived Financial gain.
Architectural Significance:
The Perrenoud House was built in 1910. It is a simple two storey box like structure with a hipped roof. It is undecorated same for a verandah on two sides and two bay windows flanking the front door.
The interior is panelled in B.C. Fir. Its simple design suggests the use of a standard plan by the contractors, the Chapman Brothers of Cochrane. Perrenoud was not a large land holder, but his house is quite large which suggests his wealthy family in France may have helped him out.
* * *
It was to this small settlement of wooden shacks bounded on one side by the railway that Charles Perrenoud arrived in 1886.
Charles Perrenoud was born in 1863 in Bescancon, a town in the French Alps north of Geneva. His father was a wealthy jeweller and Charles followed him into this profession. He was sent to England for 3 years from 1884 to 1886 to learn the jeweller's trade and to improve his English. Although he returned to France, he did not stay long, emigrating to Canada in 1886. He spent his first year in Canada at the Winterbottom Ranch on Sheep Creek as a 'paying' guest. That is to say, he paid $600.00 to work on the ranch and learn about its operation. In 1888, his younger brother Ernest arrived from Besconcon and the two moved north to Mortimer Coulee at the head of Beaverdam Creek to try their hand at ranching. Their first investment was forty horses purchased at a cost of $100 each. The two lived there for a number of years raising horses. At that time, there were a number of horse ranchers in the immediate vicinity and they routinely helped each other if the need arose. Although Charles had not been born to the ranching life, he soon came to enjoy it and was very proud of his stock.
The land in Mortimer Coulee had originally been filed in Ernest's name. He later homesteaded the property but did not make any notable improvements. Charles filed his homestead in the early 1890s (SW 4-27-4-W5) and built a log shack at that time. The men continued to work together; at that time the range was still largely unfenced and they increased their herd to around 150 head by 1900. Throughout this period, the market for horses was good and the brothers raised both saddle and work horses...
... By 1910, Perrenoud could afford to build a new house. The lumber for the structure was imported from British Columbia and was brought from Cochrane by six teams of horses. The house was bult by the Chapman Brothers, who were responsible for much of the construction in the Cochrane area. ... Its simple centre hall plan and box-like layout suggests the use of a standard plan. This is highly likely as the Chapman Brothers were not only contractors but also general merchants and lumber dealers and thus had access to house pattern books. The house does suggest a certain prosperity however, particularly when compared to the original log cabin the family lived in prior to 1910. Also, when compared to other ranch houses in the vicinity, it emerges as one of the most substantial. Perrenoud was not a 'remittance man' per se but the fact that he came from a prosperous background in France may account for his comfortable surroundings. Certainly, an examination of the Perrenoud papers that remain in the house reveal that a regular correspondence was maintained between the family and their relatives in France.
Therefore, it is likely that financial help was made available to Charles.
The interior of the house and the arrangement of the rooms indicate that a comfortable atmosphere was a prime consideration. One side of the main floor, which is divided in half by a large wood-panelled centre hall, is a large parlour sitting room/office, while the other half holds the kitchen and what one would presume to be a dining room.
This in itself is quite unusual as meals in ranch houses were generally serviced in the kitchen. This supports the supposition that the Perrenoud family enjoyed a slightly higher standard of living than many early ranch families. Upstairs there are four bedrooms, all a good size and some of which still contain the original furniture.
Family members writing in 'Big Hill Country', maintain that the Perrenouds participated actively in the social life of the Cochrane area.
Unfortunately, the horse ranching industry declined in Canada in the 1920s as a result of the increase in motorized farm machinery. The Perrenouds suffered because of the decline and in 1929, upon Charle's death, they were badly in debt. However, Mrs. Perrenould sold some land and managed to weather the Depression. The land remains with descendants of the Perrenoud family.

1991 - present (2005) Alberta Community Development + property leased to Cochrane + Area Heritage Association (Stan Phelps, Artist-in-Residence, today).


Status: Status Date:
Designation Status: Designation Date:
Provincial Historic Resource
Record Information: Record Information Date:
T. Gilev 1999/10/01


Alberta Register of Historic Places: 4665-0439
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