Tag Archives: houses

Twelve Days of Christmas Day Twelve

A. G. Hay House, 402 Clark Avenue, Killarney, MB

Hay House, Killarney

Reid Dickie

I love this house!

The house itself, brick with tall, square massing and truncated hipped roof, is attractive but rather ordinary, despite its opposing one- and two-storey bays.  Its location and Queen Anne Revival style decoration elevate its appeal and grandeur from great to wondrous.

Arthur George Hay from Ontario studied law in Winnipeg andFront view practiced in the Killarney-Virden area after 1893. The main section of the Hay house was completed in 1904. The rear addition was added later.

The two-storey entry pavilion and wraparound verandah are the most striking features. The wooden enclosed porch and the balcony above topped with a pediment and sunburst design accentuate the height of the house. Pediment detailTuscan columns support the porch and verandah, both of which are loaded with intricate wooden details. Notice the three distinct types of brackets under the roof of the balcony and the lovely turned pillars and balustrade.

The large and comforting verandah coddles the house adding to its grace with the conical-roofed corner pavilion topped with a classicSide view pinnacle. The single and paired Tuscan columns, small under-eave brackets and complex use of the colour green make the verandah sing while the rest of the house completes the harmonic choir.

Windows are mostly tall in proportion to the house capped with segmented arches. A charming detail and one that speaks to the overall high quality of the design is the small cutaways above the windows that accommodate the arches.

Yet among all that, set back from the street and settled comfortably on its treed corner lot, the Hay house exudes grace and charm, satisfied with its unique presence in the town of Killarney, its provenance unquestionable.

For an all-angles view of the A. G. Hay house, watch my 1:51 video.

Leave a comment

Filed under 12 Days of Christmas 2012, Heritage Buildings, Houses, Manitoba Heritage

Twelve Days of Christmas Day Nine

B. J. Hales House, 1312 10th Street, Brandon, MB

B. J. Hales House, Brandon

Reid Dickie

Benjamin Jones Hales came to Manitoba from Ontario and taught at MacGregor and Hartney Schools before becoming the first principal at Brandon Normal School, a job he held from 1911 to 1939. A keen naturalist, his collection became the B. J. Hales Museum of Natural History, a permanent fixture at Brandon University since 1965.

About a block away from Brandon Normal School, one of four such schools for teachers set up in Manitoba, Hales built his house in 1912. Front and side viewLeaning toward Arts and Crafts but declaring no particular architectural style, it’s the double eyebrow roofline that dominates the house along with its steep hipped and oddly truncated roof and prominent dormer.

Set back from the street on a wooded lot, the two and a half storey brick house is domestic, simple, genteel, a model of the times it was built. I love the little second tier sidelights next to the porch door.

The lot is partially surrounded by a fieldstone fence with a built-in stone fireplace on the south side. Much of the flora on the property was planted by B. J. Hales.

This is a 1930s postcard of Brandon Normal School.

Brandon Normal School

Leave a comment

Filed under 12 Days of Christmas 2012, Heritage Buildings, Houses, Manitoba Heritage, Prairie People

Twelve Days of Christmas Day Seven

Shaver House, Killarney area, MB

Shaver house front elevation

Reid Dickie

As I drove along the dusty country road toward the Shaver house north of Killarney I started to get the giddy sensation that arises when I approach something living and vital yet stationary and settled. Sacred places usually create that sense in me, sometimes buildings do, too.

As if painted directly on the prairie blue, a wondrous and unlikely Side and facade viewvision, that switched back and forth between Italianate and Gothic Revival styles like a 2-D postcard, took shape against the distance. I was fascinated and curious, as ever.

Here’s an example of what prairie success did to an Ontario-born farmer, Arthur Shaver, who came to the Hullett area in 1889. Successful at farming and committed to a new and growing community, he served on Hullett’s first school board when it began in 1892. By the turn-of-the-century Shaver was ready to build.

Situated on a small rise overlooking rolling farm land to the south, Arthur Shaver built a house that recognized his success, his talent and his humanity. Two and a half storeys in tan brick, fanciful, one-of-a-kind design and decoration – a unique, top-notch quality house that the Shaver family made their home for several generations thereafter starting in 1901.

Ivied wall and rear sunroomUniqueness will always arouse my curiosity. I was excited as I stepped out of the cool Avenger into a hot June afternoon to see what’s up!

The wise old house and its tidy and tended grounds turns out to be a bed and breakfast called La Belle Vie (The Good Life) run by friendly and sociable Pam and Paul La Pierre. We sat next to the above-ground pool and rear sun room, both of which felt very compatible with Shaver’s dream, and shared some thoughts on the house and farm.  The La Pierre’s, by loving and maintaining the house and sharing it with travelers, respect and enhance the heritage value of the place, located on the original Shaver farm.

I enjoy staying at curious bed and breakfasts and meant to get back to Detail of front elevationthe area and spend a night living La Belle Vie, but, alas, it didn’t happen. Added to next summer’s list. My words and video then are about the exterior only.

What an exterior!! The generous rectangular massing has a shallow pedimented gable on the front and a wing on the east side. Scrolled bargeboard accentuates the pediment. The hip roof is cut with two dormers and the wide eaves are supported by scrolled brackets. Painted bricks add flair and interest to the house with stars, quoins on the corners and the detailed colour contrast highlighting the windows.

For an all-around view of the Shaver house, watch my 2:12 video.

Leave a comment

Filed under 12 Days of Christmas 2012, Heritage Buildings, Houses, Manitoba Heritage

Twelve Days of Christmas Day Five

Brick Italianate House, Ninga, MB

 

Buff Brick, Ninga

 

Reid Dickie

My summer travels took me to places I’d never been before, like Ninga, Manitoba. Not ninja, Ninga, apparently the Chippewa word for mother.

This lonesome seemingly deserted buff brick house caught my attention and I took one picture of it, the one above. So everything I say is based on seeing this one elevation.

The roofline is the foremost Italianate feature. Its low pitch hip jousted by the sweet angles of the matching gables evokes a smooth and gentle, almost erotic rhythm against the prairie sky. It sings!

The under-eave colour appears to have been reddish brown, which would have contrasted richly with the pale buff brick and feel right at home under the milky brown of the shingles. The pairs of tall windows under the gables have simple brick headers. The bricks overall are laid in common running bond.

The main floor conveys several elements of Italianate style such as bay windows  It appears to have two of them but closer inspection reveals the one on the left of brick construction is incorporated into the body of the house and features the main entrance.  The one on the right is a wooden addition, a back porch painted in trim colour.  The bays are connected by a narrow but elegant verandah.

Oh, the verandah: the brackets are a contrasting green to the reddish trim. The low pitch of the roof in sighing reverence to Ninga, for surethe roofline above and the trio of turned squared-away pillars doing their important work slowly succumb to the creep of the foliage, already obscuring the stairs and entwining the bench against the wall. Although the house remains in reasonably good appearance, the straggling strands of long-dead Christmas lights and the invading overgrowth herald its tomorrow, its future tangled in the vines and vicissitudes that encroach on its presence, that threaten its being. Only the prairie wind can determine how apt this all is.

2 Comments

Filed under 12 Days of Christmas 2012, Heritage Buildings, Houses, Manitoba Heritage

Twelve Days of Christmas Day Three

Demonstration Farm House, 44 Water Street, Killarney, MB

 

Demo

 

Reid Dickie

The original intent of the Killarney Demonstration Farm, as created by George Lawrence, Manitoba’s minister of agriculture from 1911 to 1915, was to identify crop varieties and farming practices that would work in the region. Lawrence was from Killarney, thus this fine old pile!!

The architectural style of the house is typical of many houses built in the early 1900s in southern Manitoba. It’s called American four-square, four rooms down, four rooms up, nice and symmetrical inside and out. A summer kitchen with sun room above have been added at Wide inviting verandahthe back. The balance of the hipped roof cut with dormers, each with its own hipped roof, the window placement and the solid massing indicate order, purity and dominance over the elements. Though looking very shabby today, in its prime with gleaming white wooden siding illuminated by the prairie sun and black trim cutting definition into the vision, it would have been an inspiration!

Above and beyond all those fine wholesome details flies the wide and welcoming verandah. Lovingly embracing the house on three sides and covered by a low-pitched roof supported by square pillars, it’s the verandah that gives the place its life and its lift. The wide eaves and the airiness suggest wings attached to the house, the whole affair about to soar off into the sunshine. It also makes the house appear much larger than it is.

 

Front elevation with verandah

 

Completed in 1915, the Demonstration Farm manager and his family lived in the house. Since the farm closed in 1946, the house has served various duties since including RCMP barracks, private school and museum. Today it appears to be empty. Situated next to the campground on the outskirts of Killarney, it’s a rare, educational and stunning relic.

For a comprehensive look at the Demonstration Farm House from all angles, watch my 1:58 video.

Leave a comment

Filed under 12 Days of Christmas 2012, Heritage Buildings, Houses, Pioneers

Twelve Days of Christmas Day One

Johnson House, 446-7th Street, Brandon, MB 

 

BRANDON CARBERRY 2012 019

 

Reid Dickie

In 1880, Samuel and Edwin Johnson moved from Seaforth, ON, where they ran a successful family hardware store, to Brandon with the same intention. The brothers built their store on the south east corner of Ninth Street and Rosser Avenue in 1885 and Johnson Hardware operated there until 1959. Under Edwin’s skillful management, the store prospered, making Edwin a prominent citizen of the city.

In 1904 Edwin commissioned one of Brandon’s up and coming architects, William A. Elliott, to design a home for him and his family. Elliott, who went on to design dozens of buildings all over southern Manitoba, was just making a name for himself in Brandon when approached by Johnson. The resulting house is a beauty!

Begun in 1904 and completed in 1906 by builder C. Lillington, the Johnson house is a superb example of Queen Anne Revival architecture, the dominant home design style of the period. The main focal point is the veranda that wraps around the feature corner of the Johnson house Brandonhouse. Its low pitched roof is supported by Classical columns. The veranda pediment with the cowl and anchor detailing is repeated on the dormers. The tan bricks are laid in standard running bond; all openings feature rectangular, segmented or semi-elliptical brick arches and windows have limestone sills. The oval window with its four keystones is striking. Don’t miss the pairs of sweet scroll brackets under the dormer eaves.

The house was inhabited by the Johnson family for 72 years. Beautifully maintained, right down to the patterns in the shingles around the veranda foundation, kudos to its present owners for their dedication to preserving local heritage.

2 Comments

Filed under 12 Days of Christmas 2012, Heritage Buildings, Houses

House on a Hill Along MB Hwy 21

Reid Dickie

Since childhood I remember driving past this old, long-abandoned stone farmhouse set humbly but with a certain majesty at the top of a rise next to the highway south of Hartney, MB. My grandparents homesteaded in the area so I often saw the old house up there, lonesome and vulnerable.

It is constructed from the most readily available material on the prairie in this part of the province: field stones. The mason who collected the stones and created the patchwork hues had a special eye for colour and size. Now tumbling down, the stones are returning to their fields, the patchwork disassembling in the wind, snow and heat.

The Mansard roof is cut with six gabled dormers. Lightening rods puncture the roof fending off the electric storms that sweep across the land. Swallows find excellent nesting sites under the eaves. The sky scowls down.

I’m not sure why it took me so long to investigate this house but this summer I spent a cloudy afternoon capturing it. Combining still and live images of the exterior and interior of the house with some whimsical sound I created a two-minute video. Click on any picture to start the video.

4 Comments

Filed under Day Tripping, Family, Heritage Buildings, Houses, Manitoba Heritage, Pioneers, Video

Carberry Gingerbread House Video

Reid Dickie

I shot some footage of one of Carberry’s finest old heritage piles: the White House aka Gingerbread House. Read a previous post about this house and its history. Now part of Carberry Plains Museum, which you will also see in the video, the gingerbread house performs charismatically and unabashedly to some “original” sound I created by combining noises from freesound.org. Just click the pic above and it all unfolds for you.

See more heritage guff and such on my YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/DickToolCo/videos

Leave a comment

Filed under Carberry, Heritage Buildings, Houses, Humour, Manitoba Heritage, Roadside Attractions

Eastlake Stick Bargeboard, Brandon

Reid Dickie

Called bargeboard, or less commonly vergeboard, the gable ends of many Queen Anne Revival houses built in Canada sported these elaborately carved, ornate Carpenter Gothic details.

I was driving down 2nd Street near Princess in Brandon and a row of old two-storeys caught my eye. Three of them had very similar Eastlake Stick style bargeboards under their front gables. Not all bargeboards are as complex as these three examples. Highly decorative, Eastlake Stick follows the notions of British architect and furniture designer Charles Eastlake (1836-1906). Often employing dowels, balls and other lathed shapes, the style lends flare and excitement to otherwise modest houses. Click the pics to enlarge

Brandon has a fine example of Eastlake Stick style – the Paterson/Matheson House at 1039 Louise Ave. My post about this house is on my Houses page.

Leave a comment

Filed under Heritage Buildings, Houses, Local History, Manitoba Heritage

White House, Carberry, MB

Reid Dickie

I have previously featured this house on the Houses page. This post will update, elaborate on details and replace the original entry.

White House, 510 Fourth Avenue, Carberry, MB

Carberry, MB has retained an enormous amount of its built heritage relative to most Manitoba towns. Two blocks of historic buildings with architecture dating back more than a century on Carberry’s Main Street have been designated as Manitoba’s first Provincial Heritage District. Walking down the town’s main drag is a rare and exhilarating experience for a heritage buff. I spent a couple of days in Carberry last summer photographing most of their remarkable buildings, including these new pictures of the White House.

The White House has stood on a corner lot on the outskirts of Carberry since about 1900 when James White built it to reflect his Ontario heritage where Queen Anne style developed its own permutations. White moved from Ontario in the 1880s, settling in Carberry where he was a contractor, sash and door manufacturer and business owner. In addition to his own home, he built his factory, the Charlie Sear Block at 19 Main Street in downtown Carberry and the town’s Presbyterian, Methodist (United), and Anglican churches. An inventive fellow, White devised a system that diverted waste steam from his factory to heat his nearby home.

Take a moment to drink in the overall Seussian effect of this Queen Anne Revival beauty. Fanciful yet formidable, subtlety and exuberance unite in striking accord on the Manitoba prairie. Notice its expansive harmony and superb craftsmanship. The picturesque roofline features double gables with a shallow pitch between them. Under the gables, bull’s-eye windows are perfectly centred between substantial brackets, each of which features a delicate drop. The peaks of the gables contrast with the smooth arc of the bargeboard below. The design on the elaborate bargeboard, the triangle and dot, is replicated on the upper verandah.

The colours are intoxicating. The distinctive red brick came from the brickworks in Edrans, MB where James White’s wife, Margaret, apparently had connections. The brick has developed a lovely patina over the century that accentuates the contrast with the rich white brick detailing. All windows are topped with elaborate headers in white brick, each with a drop, like on the brackets. Two belt courses in white brick gird the house and the bull’s-eyes are accentuated by the solid white brick enclosures. Every corner is loaded with white brick quoins. Notice the subtle use of the colour black on the building in the small details on the verandahs, window sills and lintels and under the gables.

The verandahs are exceptional despite being under repair. The arcade of arches on the upper level mimics the shape of the bargeboard and the arches over the windows. Both verandahs sport turned posts all around. The small porch over the rear door is delicate and adorable with its widely-spaced dentil and little picket balustrade.

Notice how the quoins next to the top and bottom of each window join up with the white brick header giving the appearance the window is supported from above. The design is almost hieroglyphic.

In addition to the variety of shapes in the brick design, each window features diamond and triangular shapes and a frame of square coloured panes. The exterior condition of the White House is remarkable. It is now part of the Carberry Plains Museum located next door to the house in the brick building James White built for his sash and door factory.

Quick Carberry fact: For a number of years starting in 1940 the British Royal Air Force operated Service Flying Train School #33 near Carberry. Among the thousands of airmen who trained there was actor Richard Burton.

Leave a comment

Filed under Carberry, Heritage Buildings, Houses, Local History, Manitoba Heritage, Pioneers

Manitoba Heritage House – Fieldstone Mansard

Reid Dickie

Fieldstone Mansard Roof House, 66 Third Avenue SE, Minnedosa, MB

Among the collection of wonderful fieldstone buildings in Minnedosa stands this fine example of Second Empire architecture adapted to prairie needs. Commonly used for public buildings in Canada, especially those built by the Federal Department of Public Works in the late 1800s and early 1900s, Second Empire architecture was adopted by the Roman Catholic church and used for its schools and convents well into the 20th century. Built about 1896 from local fieldstone and first owned by Charles Currie, the house sports many well-defined details of the style. The red mansard roof dominates the house with the chimney poking up out of the top and tall dormers on all four sides. The dormers have pediment roofs with delightful sunburst detailing. The little house has two full bay windows with the street side bay featuring tall windows on all three sides. The scrolled brackets under the eaves are painted in  two colours, a characteristic which complements the mottled colours of the fieldstones. Situated on a corner, the house gives the impression of stability and conveys a sense of its own history.

1 Comment

Filed under Heritage Buildings, Houses, Manitoba Heritage

Manitoba Heritage House -Beechmount

Reid Dickie

A short feature article and picture of Beechmount can be found on my Houses page but the house and its owner richly deserve a more thorough report. A few years ago I visited Beechmount and was given an enchanting tour by its owner, Christine Common. 

Beechmount, 134 West Gate, Winnipeg, MB

“Someone told me before you do anything radical to a house, live in it for the four seasons of a full year,” says Christine Common, proud owner and restorer of Beechmount at 134 West Gate in Winnipeg.  “Do little things the first year,” but get a personal feel for your old house before you begin the major work.

She took that advice over 30 years ago. Today, Christine Common and her partner Giovanni Geremia share the wholly restored house with hundreds of people from around the world. Twenty-room Beechmount is now a four and a half star bed and breakfast. Though its adaptive reuse is modern, the house’s history connects inextricably with Winnipeg’s history.

Beechmount stands on a bend in the Assiniboine River, set back from the river and street. Lendrum McMeans, a barrister and politician, built the house in 1895. He sold it to bank manager John Benning Monk who named it Beechmount after his home back in Ontario. Later in the 20th century, it became known as the J. B. Monk House.

Few architectural styles are as picturesque as Queen Anne Revival, popular about 1890 to 1910 during Winnipeg’s building boom time. Broadway, its cross streets and new residential areas like Armstrong’s Point, teemed with Queen Annes sporting jaunty roofs, effusive decoration, elaborate verandahs and often, turrets or towers.

Beechmount, the second house built on West Gate, is an extraordinary example of the style, rendered with class, sincerity and just a touch of whimsy. Call it genteel. Eastlake decoration, characteristic of Queen Anne style, adorns the verandah with turned spindles, finials and posts. In 1980, the house looked nothing like this.

“When this house came up for sale, I saw the huge amount of work it needed. This beautiful Queen Anne had been messed up big time.” Common winces when she thinks of her initial contact with the house. “The house was in good condition but it had undergone very insensitive renovation. Its original integrity and Queen Anne beauty had been badly damaged.”

Despite the ghastly décor and unsympathetic renovation, something appealed to Common. “Even in its ugly altered state, this place had a spirituality about it that spoke to me. There was something irresistible about its spaces, something here I wanted to undertake.” The job turned out to be much bigger and longer than she imagined.

“I had a monumental task in front of me so I took it on a little bit at a time. Sometimes I was discouraged, others I was elated. There were times when I almost gave up but I’d think, I’ve come this far, why quit now?”

Her first project was the newel post and banister you see when you enter the house. Under layers of paint, she discovered the intricate carving on the newel post and the luster of the oak handrails. It took over a year to finish that job. Thereafter it was one room at a time, starting with the dining room.

“The Historic Buildings By-Law came into being about the time I started my restoration so there wasn’t much in the way of government resources available,” says Common. She consulted with U of M Faculty of Architecture, attending restoration workshops by Professor Bill Thompson.

Today there are vast amounts of information, reference material and advice about heritage restoration and maintenance on the internet. The Historic Places Initiative has developed a set of Standards and Guidelines for Canadian heritage restorations along with resources for identifying, repairing and maintaining historic sites. The Historic Resources Branch, part of Manitoba’s Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport ministry, provides advice, specific assistance and general information on conservation and maintenance to owners of heritage sites.

Over the next fifteen years, besides restoring Beechmount, Common raised a family, divorced a husband and dealt with life as it arose. By 1995, enough of the history of the house had been unearthed and enough restoration done that the Winnipeg Historical Buildings Committee toured and decided to designate the house.

Common took advantage of the new funding benefits that arise when you own a designated property and started on the “serious external stuff” such as the verandah. The original verandah was torn off in 1958 to make way for concrete steps. Enough documentation existed to create replication drawings.

Architect Giovanni Geremia had renovated the kitchen in the house so Common contacted him. He was thrilled to be able to draw up the verandah plans for her. Promising her “a more authentic result,” Geremia even offered to do it himself, if she wasn’t in a rush to get it done. The verandah took three years to complete but the result is spectacular.

The replication is uncanny. Utterly appropriate in colour, dimensions, detailing and quality of craftsmanship, the wraparound verandah enhances the comfort and warmth of the welcoming buff brick home. It appears to have always been there. The large brackets at the gable corners of the verandah were constructed by Geremia to match the originals at the roof corners. Each contains 20 separate pieces of wood. Another exterior job restored the still-assessable widow’s walk on the roof.

A long-time environmental activist and conservationist, Common sees Beechmount from that perspective. “This house is a giant recycling project. We think of recycling little things like cans and bottles but restoring rather than demolishing buildings is also recycling. Personally and policy-wise, we need to think in those terms.”

“Now it’s the upkeep,” says Common. Upkeep maintains both the heritage and real estate value of a property by helping ensure its distinctive character-defining elements are protected. Appropriate maintenance demonstrates pride in the accomplishments of forbearers and the personal satisfaction of fulfilling your time of stewardship. Often mentioned by site owners is the enrichment of the community and respect that maintenance creates.

“My maintenance plan? I just watch. The house speaks to you. It’s never leaked. It’s structurally sound. There is a bit of painting needs to be done.” Asked about a maintenance schedule, Common says, “We do interior work during the winter and the exterior in summer.”

The rewards of the restoration are many and varied for Common. In 2006, Heritage Winnipeg awarded her the Best Residential Conservation Award, citing “the sympathetic and successful rehabilitation – a quarter century labour of love.”

“I thought it was nice recognition of work done over such a long time. As a bed and breakfast, the award adds exciting flavour to our advertisements and gets people interested in Manitoba history, bringing out the questions. Why is it designated? Who lived here? I enjoy sharing what I know about the era, style, architect, people who lived here. This house is exciting from all those perspectives.”

The heritage factor attracts lodgers. “Often people stay here because they have a connection to Armstrong’s Point or West Gate or they just like staying in old homes.” The house is included on the Canadian Register of Historic Places.

As satisfying as a heritage award and designations are, Common found a visit by a 90-year old woman in 2006 equally filled with delightful affirmation.

“She married one of the Monk boys and had often visited this house during their courtship. When she walked onto the verandah and in the front door, she said ‘Oh my Christine, this is just the way I remember it seventy years ago.’ To me that was such a positive affirmation! That one comment will always encourage me to never give up.”

Of her love for Beechmount, Common says, “If you find a suitable old building, as English critic and author John Ruskin said, ‘You’ll find walls that are washed by the passing waves of humanity.’ You won’t find that in a new building.

“It’s exciting connecting the building to its historical origins. It’s a little bit of archeology. I love to research and discover. You can’t do that in a new house because there is nothing to discover. I find the work and the research enormously interesting and rewarding. It’s a springboard for doing more.”

That is often how heritage is preserved. Satisfying feelings of accomplishment, pride and connection, a result of doing the work, inspire and expand the owner’s willingness to continue with the restoration or maintenance. The next project has the same effect, which spurs you on to the next and so on.

The responsibility Christine Common feels for Beechmount stretches in both directions from the present. It respects the origins and architecture of the building, its history and all the lives lived within it. It honours the present site with loving restoration and maintenance ensuring a significant piece of local history is preserved for future generations.

Leave a comment

Filed under Accommodations, Heritage Buildings, Houses, Local History, Manitoba Heritage

Manitoba Heritage House – Minnedosa Fieldstone

Reid Dickie

Fieldstone House, 77 First Street NE, Minnedosa, MB

Situated on a quiet street and peeking shyly from behind luscious evergreens, this dignified fieldstone house sports several rather rare Gothic Revival touches. Beyond typical Gothic features of its steep  front gable and rectangular, symmetrical massing, this two-storey house features elegantly elaborate bargeboard (under the gable) in a pattern that is replicated on the low balustrade around the porch roof. The peak of the gable has both a pendant  hanging below and a pinnacle pointing upward, lovely features with the pinnacles repeated atop the side gables.

Porches on heritage buildings can be tricky and either add to or detract from the overall design and feeling. This porch, painted white to contrast the grey and reddish stones, adds further elegance to the place. The columns on the porch suggest Classical Revival architecture. The little balustrade on the roof is precious.

The side view illustrates the symmetrical fenestration with subtle sunbursts above each window. You can see the pinnacle at the point of the gable end and the attractive mottle of the fieldstones.

The Minnedosa Heritage Committee states the house was built in the 1890s for Joseph and Edith Burgess who raised their 11 children there. Joseph established the Burgess store in Minnedosa in 1896. Burgess Quality Foods still operates from the same location today. The house has changed hands several times over the decades with very sympathetic restoration being done after 1985.

2 Comments

Filed under Heritage Buildings, Houses, Local History, Manitoba Heritage, Pioneers

Manitoba Heritage House – Classic Arts & Crafts Bungalow

Reid Dickie

Arts and Crafts Bungalow, Earl Grey area, Winnipeg, MB

This luscious example of an Arts and Craft bungalow, just down the street from me, has nearly every characteristic that defines the purely residential style which took root in Winnipeg about 1910. The word bungalow is an anglosizing of the Indian word bangala, meaning a typical one-storey native dwelling in British Bengal. The Craftsman magazine took the Indian style and adapted it into a new movement in North American home building. Mail-order companies sold designs for these modest homes and they sprang up like mushrooms in the night all over North American until about 1940.

Built in 1914, this house eagerly expresses the organic feel of the Arts and Crafts Movement, which emphasized honest materials, simple designs and open floor plans. The low pitched gable roof combines with the gabled dormers to form a picturesque roofline that spreads into broad eaves. The rafter tails, the ridge beams noticable above the front entrance and the elegant heavy brackets that support the roof are all exposed, displaying the simple structural elements of the house. Typically, as you see here, these details and the trim are painted a lighter colour in sharp contrast to the walls.

The Arts & Crafts style mixed inside and outside spaces. On this house, the porch is enclosed within the body of the house under the roof while several bay windows project outward. Wood shingles, stucco or brick were typical finishes. This house is covered with durable asbestos siding. It retains the typically double hung windows with multiple lights in the upper window and a single pane below.

I adore this place. The rubblestone planters in the front suggest the raw materials that would have formed the foundation of the porch on a traditional Craftsman house. The high contrasting purple and custard colours carry the tradition off perfectly, their hues changing with the seasonal light. A beautifully maintained and well loved home.

1 Comment

Filed under Heritage Buildings, Houses, Manitoba Heritage, Winnipeg

Manitoba Heritage House – Minnedosa Fieldstone

Reid Dickie

Fieldstone House, 101 Third Avenue NE, Minnedosa, MB

Autumn colours and the blue Manitoba sky set off this gorgeous fieldstone house on a quiet street corner in Minnedosa. Built about 1895 of granite fieldstones left conveniently behind by the retreating glaciers 10,000 years earlier, it is a variation on popular Gothic Revival designs.

Typical of the style is the steep gable paired with a more relaxed pitch on the larger gable. Together they create an attractive rhythm accentuated by the extended shape.

Usually on a rectangular plan, this home is L-shaped offering more interior space and design opportunities. The porch with its long tall wood sash windows inset cozily into the crook of the L adds lightness and visual interest to the place. The pair of second-floor windows and the slender opening below the steep gable have fine sunburst headers, as do all the windows.

There is some uncertainty among the Minnedosa Heritage Committee about who actually built the house. The builders were either Jackson Whiteside Brown or Frank and Marion Mashen. It appears the house has outlived many of the trees in its yard.

Leave a comment

Filed under Heritage Buildings, Houses, Manitoba Heritage, Pioneers

Manitoba Heritage House – Minnedosa Fieldstone

Reid Dickie

Fieldstone House, 27 Third Avenue NE, Minnedosa, MB

If there is one thing the prairies has, it is stones. Thank you retreating glaciers for sharing your billions of rocks. Minnedosa, MB, a small town nestled in the luxurious valley of the Little Saskatchewan River, has one of the best collections of fieldstone buildings on the Canadian prairies. Built over the course of just a few years, between 1892 and 1903, ten eloquent fieldstone buildings still stand in Minnedosa, all are occupied and maintained with love. Other stone buildings in the town have been demolished or stuccoed over, but these ten are the jewels in the town’s crown. Let’s start with this beauty built between 1892 and 1900 by stonemason Robert Gugin, one of several excellent masons who worked in Minnedosa and area.

This is a mesmerizing piece of work! Employing the popular Gothic Revival style with a bit of southern Ontario influence, Gugin found incredibly sympathetic stones in colour and size, creating an embracing texture on all sides. The lone steep gable suggests the style and the delicate woodwork on the porch adds to the lightness of the place.

The solid massing, soothing mottle of the stones and attention to detail make this a most attractive use of readily available materials in a popular attention-grabbing style. The rear of the house has a cinderblock addition that detracts somewhat from the lovely side façade. The contrasting red and white accent colours and the fancy woodwork give the house a delightful appeal.

Leave a comment

Filed under Accommodations, Heritage Buildings, Houses, Manitoba Heritage, Prairie People

The Lyons House, Carberry

Reid Dickie

Robert Fern Lyons was one of the early settlers in the Carberry area after emigrating west from Ontario in 1879. He purchased one of the first lots when the community of Carberry was established, on which he built a department store which he operated until 1888. Lyons owned 2700 acres of land around Carberry and raised crops and livestock. A Conservative, Lyons was elected to the Manitoba Legislature five times between 1892 and 1914.

What interests me most about Lyons is the house he built near Carberry. Though long abandoned and disintegrating quickly, the crumbling mansion retains enough of the detail to suggest its original magnificence. Located about a km south of Carberry on Highway #5, the house is visible among the overgrown trees from the highway, its brick construction standing out against the prairie fields.

Below is a picture of the side of the Lyons mansion and the additions it had back in its hey day along with the list of early owners. Thanks to Kelly at Carberry Plains Museum.

CARBERRY LYONS HOUSE IN ITS DAY

This picture (left) is what the house looks like today.

Built around 1895, the red and buff brick two-storey house combines elements of Italianate and Queen Anne architectural styles into a striking and luxurious pile. The first floor features buff brick, the second floor red brick, both laid in standard running bond. The commingling of both coloured bricks on the second floor is fluid and dynamic. The asymmetrical massing of the house, round segmental arches over the windows and the accent quoins are all Italianate elements that give the house a villa feel. Queen Anne style is represented in the two-storey rounded rooms, the bargeboard and fish scale shingles on the gable ends, the ornate three arched windows, which I believe went up the stairway of the house, and picturesque roofline. The former Lyons farm yard still has the wooden barn collapsing into itself and a rusting car parked at the rear of the house. The interior picture shows how far the place has fallen from grace. It’s a shambles.

More pictures in this update.

Click on the pic of R. F. Lyons at the top of this article to explore his house inside and out in a 2:55 video.

47 Comments

Filed under Carberry, Heritage Buildings, Houses, Manitoba Heritage, Pioneers

Manitoba Heritage Houses – Two Mansards

Reid Dickie

On my recent travels in southwestern Manitoba I found two lovely examples of mansard roof houses, both have an additional distinctive feature. The first house, located on a residential corner in Boissevain, MB, is built of fieldstones with red brick accents. Each dormer has a small shed roof over it. The little brackets under the eaves have a pleasant appeal.

The other mansard roof house is in Waskada, MB and its construction is of formed cement blocks. This technique was popular in the late 1800s and early 1900s and meant each block was made on-site in a press with various textures available for the face of the block. You can see the top row of blocks has a different texture than the rest of the blocks below it. This house has a much larger second floor with more elaborate dormers, each with a little pediment roof and brackets. The steepness of the roof pitch is accentuated by a swoop creating concave corners. This makes it appear as if the second floor is larger than the first giving the place an unusual massing.

2 Comments

Filed under Accommodations, Heritage Buildings, Houses, Manitoba Heritage

Manitoba Heritage House – Cypress River

Reid Dickie

Mansard Roof House, Cypress River, MB

This fine example of a mansard roof house sits prominently on a street corner in Cypress River, MB. The mansard roof is denoted by the different slopes of the roof with the lower slope steeper than the upper slope. This little house is loaded with detail! The massing is solid and practical with two bay windows, both featuring decorative coloured glass framing panes surrounded by wooden block and column design. Each projecting bay has three windows, all have the glass detailing and a simple but attractive design above the foundation, which I suspect was painted black. Mansards usually sport large dormers on each face of the roof. The coloured glass is continued around the upper portion of the rounded dormer windows which are hooded, have flares at the corners and extend above the bays on two sides.   Instead of a bay window but complimenting the arched dormers, the plain side features a small rectangular window and a round bull’s-eye window. Under the eaves is a broken beltcourse of black panels between the delicately detailed brackets that add credence and visual interest by using the high contrast black and white colour scheme. Black and white is frequently seen on mansard roof houses, affording the opportunity to be striking yet precious.

Leave a comment

Filed under Accommodations, Day Tripping, Heritage Buildings, Houses

Heritage Houses – Three Bricks in Portage la Prairie

Reid Dickie

These three fine brick houses sit on the 600 block of Saskatchewan Avenue, the main drag of Portage la Prairie, MB. Although modest and similar in many ways, each has its own distinctive qualities.

First I’ll mention the qualities all three houses share. Each has steeply pitched roofs on flaring gables and a rectangular dormer with steep roof. The fenestration (window positions) is the same on all three houses with brick sunbursts above the two front windows. All are built of the same buff brick, which on two of the houses, including this one, is laid in American bond, that is, every sixth row shows the header (end) of the brick rather than the stretcher (side of the brick). All have fish scale shingles on the large front facade gable, limestone lintels under the front windows and attractive, appropriate shutters. The floor plans are extremely similar. All front entrances are protected by roof.

What distinguishes this house is the additions, mostly sympathetic, that have been made at the rear. The same colour of brick and trim was used and detracts little from the original house. The building is now occupied by an insurance company.

This is the most distinctive of the three houses and has many design features that set it apart from its neighbours. It has a substantial foundation which the other two lack. This results in the attractive stairs onto the porch, which is rounded with a fine contrasting dentil just under the eave. Contrasting columns support the porch roof and the corners sport quoins similar to the foundation material. This house is the exception to American bond. This building features standard running bond, that is, all bricks were laid end to end. It is currently a hair salon.

This is the only house of the three that is still used as a residence. The most obvious difference is the reversed design inside and out but the materials remain the same. American bond brickwork was used here as in the first house. The dormer roof is different from the other two. Because the building is a home, it has a warmer feel to it.

4 Comments

Filed under Heritage Buildings, Houses, Local History