Links and documents
1902/01/01 to 1927/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Situated on the south bank of Pekisko Creek, the Piggery at the Bar U Ranch National Historic Site of Canada, otherwise known as Building 31, has distinctive massing, with its two long shed-roofed rows of 12 timber-floored pens facing a wide, earthen-floored central feed aisle. The roofline of one bay extends across the corridor to create a clerestory level with 12 windows that provide natural light for the feed aisle. Every stall was fitted with a vertically sliding panel that allowed free access to the outside pig run that formerly flanked the sides of the building. A numbering system that is still visible was used to assist in returning partitions to their respective locations. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Piggery is a Classified federal heritage building because of its historical associations and its architectural and environmental values.
The Bar U Ranch complex is one of the best examples of the development of the ranching industry in Alberta and its importance in the development of Canada. The building illustrates significant structural changes that took place in the livestock industry during the first decades of the 20th century, which included improved agricultural methods and diversified farming in Western Canada. It is a good example of the type of structure made of light sawn timber used at this time. The Piggery’s specialized design reflects George Lane, a Canadian rancher’s enthusiasm for progressive agricultural technologies where it helped to elevate his reputation as a leading Canadian rancher and contributed to the Bar U Ranch’s status as an important ranching operation. The Piggery is also associated with Patrick Burns, who purchased the Bar U Ranch in 1927 to add to his vast cattle empire. Burns, who is recognized as the kingpin of the meat processing industry in western Canada during the mid-1920’s, has been designated a person of national significance.
The Piggery is very good example of the class known as the large house with individual pen class, one of the two most general classes of piggery design used in North America in the first quarter of the 20th Century. Its design, massing, pattern, type of openings and interior features reflect its state-of-the-art conditions for pig raising, while its chosen construction materials and techniques also contribute to the building’s visual cohesiveness within the site and to its utilitarian character.
The Piggery is part of a cohesive complex of buildings arranged to great functional effect and reinforces the present visual character of the Bar U Ranch. The structure along with the Livestock Shed and the Self-Feeder is situated on the south bank of Pekisko Creek, where it is a component of the collection of pre-1927 buildings, which contribute to the landmark value of the complex, as one of the region’s most important early ranch sites. The designation of the site as a national historic site reinforces the building’s value. The Piggery’s colour scheme continues a tradition across the Prairies and visually links it to the other buildings on site.
Sources: Edward Mills, Historic Bar U Ranch Headquarters, Longview, Alberta, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Building Report 92-017; The Piggery (Building 31), Bar U Ranch, Longview, Alberta, Heritage Character Statement 92-017.
The character defining elements of the Piggery should be respected.
Its very good unornamented, functional (large house with individual pen class) design, chosen construction materials, techniques and state-of-the-art features as manifested in:
- its distinctive massing;
- its light milled frame design;
- its long shed-roofed rows of timber-floored pens;
- its earthen-floored central feed aisle;
- its clerestory level with windows providing natural light;
- its concrete foundation;
- its horizontal plank roof deck supported by a beam and post system;
- its exterior shiplap sheathing;
- its interior unlined walls exposing the rough sawn framing, random width and spaced board sheathing;
- its colour scheme linking it to the other buildings on site.
The manner in which the Piggery, as part of a cohesive complex of buildings, reinforces visual character of the Bar U Ranch.
Government of Canada
Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy
Classified Federal Heritage Building
Theme - Category and Type
Function - Category and Type
- Food Supply
- Barn, Stable or Other Animal Housing
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec
Cross-Reference to Collection
Bar U Ranch National Historic Site of Canada
Bar U Ranch National Historic Site of Canada comprises 148.43 hectares of rangeland that constitute the original headquarters site of an Alberta cattle ranch established in the…