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Coal Shed

Longview, Alberta, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1993/11/15

General view of the front and side façades of the Coal Shed, 1992.; Department of Public Works / Ministère des Travaux publics, (A & E Services--CPS, WRO), 1992.
Corner view
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Other Name(s)

Coal Shed
Building 12
Bâtiment 12

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1909/01/01 to 1910/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/06/16

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Coal Shed at Bar U Ranch National Historic Site of Canada, also known as Building 12 is a small one-storey agricultural building with a simple rectangular form and a shallow gabled roof covered in cedar shingles. The exterior walls are covered with narrow wood bevelled siding. The colour scheme of barn red walls and white trim follows the Prairie tradition. The main elevation is enlivened only by a single door and by small four pane sash windows located high up in the walls. The Coal Shed is situated within the community centre, focused on Pekisko Creek, and is located a short distance from the rear entrance of the Bunkhouse and Cookhouse building. A concrete walkway links the two emphasizing their direct relationship. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Coal Shed is a Classified Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.

Historical value:
This building, which is part of the Bar U Ranch, is one of the best examples of the national theme of ranching in Alberta, and its importance in the development of Canada. Constructed at approximately the same time as the Bunkhouse and Cookhouse building, it played a role in that building’s development, being used to store coal, which was used for cooking and heating. The building is a component of the Bar U Ranch. The Coal Shed 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-1920s, has been designated a person of national significance. In addition, George Lane, a prominent Alberta cattleman who was hired at Bar U Ranch in 1884 to serve as the ranch foreman, ran the ranch between 1902 and 1925.

Architectural value:
This agricultural building is a very good example of early 1900s building practices at the Bar U and in the region. Its value also lies in its simplicity of construction and functional design.

Environmental value:
The Coal Shed is part of a cohesive complex of buildings arranged to great functional effect in an exceptional site and beautiful, natural setting. The Coal House contributes to the character of the Bar U Ranch.

Sources: Edward Mills, Historic Bar U Ranch Headquarters, Longview, Alberta. Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 92-017;Coal Shed (Building 12), Bar U Ranch, Longview, Alberta, Heritage Character Statement 92-017.

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Coal Shed should be respected.

Its agricultural building type and good quality materials and craftsmanship as manifested in:
- its rectangular, single-storey massing;
- the light timber structural system;
- the gabled roof clad, with cedar shingles;
- the exterior cladding of bevelled siding;
- the red and white colour scheme.

The manner in which the building reinforces the character and setting of the Bar U Ranch.




Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy

Recognition Type

Classified Federal Heritage Building

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type



Food Supply
Food Storage Facility

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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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…


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