Historic Resources Management Branch

This Historic Resources Management Branch.

Exterior Rehabilitation and Restoration of Old St. Stephen’s College

Historic photo of Old St. Stephen’s College circa. 1915.

After about three years, the Old St. Stephen’s College – Provincial Historic Resource has now completed the planning and implementation of its exterior rehabilitation and restoration project which started a number of years back with its cedar shingle roof replacement.

This recently completed scope involved foundation upgrades and stair revisions to the ground level access points of the building, including the addition of a compatible, distinguishable and subordinately designed barrier-free access ramp, as well as masonry repairs and the replacement of the 1980’s metal storms with more historically appropriate wooden units that will have the added benefit of allowing more natural ventilation in the building. Additional work also included the rehabilitation of the former fire exit door openings, the return of the round window at the top level of the building and the addition of vented caps to the non-functional chimneys.

The details and specifications developed for this work were developed using the principles found in the Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada as well as referencing the historic photographs that were available. These photos were helpful in providing direction for the new replacement wood storm and former exit door panel designs, as most of the originals were lost in the early 1980’s – including the round window which disappeared and was infilled with a simple metal panel in the 1970’s. However, the original wood sash windows were still in place and received new paint and minor repairs on their exterior sides. Only three original storms at the top level of the building were still extant and therefore repaired and reinstated during the course of this project.

Below are some photographic highlights of the work that was accomplished over the past three years. The photos on the left are the before/historic photos and, on the right, are the after photos. Or, click on the image(s) for a slideshow view.

A great many thanks goes to the consultants, project managers, contractors, tradespeople, suppliers and building staff that worked and endured the frustrations and pleasures of this project and thus ensured its success. Many lessons were learned, old best practices reaffirmed and new innovations developed during this project that can now be promoted as a good example of heritage conservation.

Written By: Carlo Laforge, Heritage Conservation Adviser

For more Old St. Stephen’s College history, see our previous posts:

The First Heritage Landmark Built on University Grounds

The War Years at (Old) St. Stephen’s College

Pranks and Fun: Social Life at Old St. Stephen’s College

Red Deer Industrial School Monument Unveiled

During the past three weeks the Spanish influenza has swept through this institution. I regret to report that as a result, five of our pupils are dead: Georgina House, Jane Baptiste, Sarah Soosay, David Lightning, William Cardinal…At the time the children died practically everyone was sick so that it was impossible for us to bury the dead. I thought the best thing to do was to have the undertaker from Red Deer take charge of and bury the bodies. This was done, and they now lie buried in Red Deer.”

These words, written by then-Principal Joseph F. Woodsworth to the department of Indian Affairs, now also appear in the Red Deer City Cemetery, on a monument commemorating the lives of four of the five young men and women who passed away on November 15 and 16, 1918, while attending Red Deer Industrial School[1]. Until now, their names and resting places within the Red Deer City Cemetery had remained largely unmarked and their stories untold. (more…)

Métis Week: November 13 – 18

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Excerpt from Chester Brown’s Louis Riel: A Comic Strip Biography (Drawn & Quarterly, Montreal, 2003)

November 13 – 18 marks the annual Métis Week celebrations. Each year, the Métis Nation of Alberta hosts events around the province to commemorate not only Riel’s uniquely complicated and heroic legacy, but the outstanding contributions of Métis people to Canada. November 16, the date Riel was executed, will be an especially significant remembrance.

When it comes to defining legacies of the women and men who helped shape Canada into what it is today, few people are as complicated as Louis Riel. The Métis founder of Manitoba and twice-elected Member of Parliament is at the same time revered and scorned; the vanguard of Métis resistance against the federal government is a hero and a traitor, depending who you ask. To this day, over 130 years after he was hanged for treason in Regina, Saskatchewan, Riel is to some still a controversial and polarizing man. But for many, especially Canada’s Métis population, Riel is a man to celebrate and to honour. (more…)

Hunting With a View: Excavations at the Hummingbird Creek Site (FaPx-1) in Alberta’s Central Rockies

In 2009, the Archaeological Survey of Alberta discovered the Hummingbird Creek Site (FaPx-1), an archaeological site rich in stone artifacts, animal remains, and hearth features, in Alberta’s central Rockies. The site resided on a high terrace above Hummingbird Creek and the South Ram River, an ideal location for observing the valley below. Radiocarbon dates from the site’s lower levels indicated it was occupied from between 2,500 – 2,400 years ago, and upper levels dated from 1,000 – 700 years ago. This past August, Timothy Allan (MA student at the University of British Columbia), members of the Archaeological Survey of Alberta, and the Red Deer Archaeological Society returned to FaPx-1 to complete excavations at the site. The team found atlatl (or throwing spear) projectile points, hide scrapers, stone tool debris (flakes), and animal bone. (more…)

The Alberta Historical Resources Foundation Looking for New Board Members

Do you want to be part of a vibrant heritage board or do you know someone who might be interested? The Alberta Historical Resources Foundation (AHRF), the primary source of the Government of Alberta funding for heritage projects, is currently accepting applications to fill in four board director positions.

Founded in 1973, AHRF has grown into a complex agency that serves a wide range of stakeholders. Board members are appointed for a term of up to three years. Board meetings are held four times a year for approximately 1.5 days. Board members are also occasionally asked to attend heritage events on behalf of the Foundation.

For details on the position profile and to apply online, please visit https://www.alberta.ca/public-agency-opportunity.cfm?appt=484 . The competition will close on September 24, 2017.

Help us continue to carry on the tradition of a vibrant and competent board. Help us ensure the preservation and promotion of Alberta’s heritage.

Alberta Historical Resources Foundation’s next grant application deadline: September 1st

If you happen to visit a restored heritage property; come across a heritage plaque or marker; or read a community history book, chances are the project was supported by the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation.

As the Government of Alberta’s primary window for heritage preservation funding, the Foundation’s Heritage Preservation Partnership Program provides matching grants and scholarships to support initiatives that preserve and interpret Alberta’s rich heritage. The next grant intake is just around the corner. Next application deadline is September 1st.

If you wish to know more about the program or access the guidelines and application forms, please visit www.culturetourism.alberta.ca/ahrf or contact the Program Coordinator at Carina.Naranjilla@gov.ab.ca or 780-431-2305 (toll-free by first dialling 310-0000).

Clovis Points and the Ice Free Corridor

Did you know that some of the earliest inhabitants of what is now Alberta were here over 12,000 years ago? Evidence of these people is found in the form of fluted projectile points, like the one shown in the image above. Fluted projectile points are lanceolate (no stem or notching) and have large flakes struck from the center of the base to form a flute or channel.

One style of fluted projectile point is attributed to a culture known as the Clovis people. Clovis spear points were first discovered in Clovis, New Mexico, but are found all across North America. These points were long thought to represent the earliest people in the Americas; however, more recent research has refuted this. (more…)