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Blacksmith Shop

Longview, Alberta, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1993/11/15

General view of the Blacksmith Shop, showing the north (front) and east elevations, 1992.; Department of Public Works / Ministère des Travaux publics, (A & E Services -- CPS, WRO), 1992..
Corner View
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Other Name(s)

Building No. 14
Bâtiment no 14
Blacksmith Shop 14
Atelier du forgeron 14
Blacksmith Shop

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1900/01/01 to 1906/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/06/22

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Blacksmith Shop at the Bar U Ranch National Historic Site of Canada, also known as Building No. 14, is a simple, rectangular one-storey log structure with a medium pitched gabled roof supported by exposed peeled-pole rafters covered with cedar shingles. The walls of the Blacksmith Shop are constructed of round logs with squared dovetail-notched corners. The gable walls are also constructed of logs. A chimney is visible at the northwest corner of the roof and a cupola vent can be seen at the roofline. There is sliding door on the north façade. The Blacksmith Shop is in a community grouping in an open and dramatic landscape. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

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

Historical value:
The Blacksmith Shop is one of the best examples of the national theme of the development of ranching in Alberta, and its importance in the development of Canada. It was of importance in the daily operations of the ranch, associated with the shoeing of horses and the repair of farm machinery and implements. The building is a component of the Bar U Ranch National Historic Site of Canada. The structure is also associated with George Lane, a prominent Alberta cattleman who was hired at Bar U Ranch in 1884 to serve as the ranch foreman and who ran the ranch between 1902 and 1925. Finally, the Blacksmith Shop is 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.

Architectural value:
The Blacksmith Shop is a very good example of the agricultural building type used at the Bar U Ranch and on the Western Prairies. The building incorporates good quality materials and craftsmanship. Its value also lies in its functional design and common construction details which is characteristic of the buildings erected at the Bar U Ranch. It has strong aesthetic impact due to its traditional log construction, strong colour scheme and prominent cupola.

Environmental value:
The building reinforces the adjacent buildings and is arranged to great functional effect in a simple and beautiful, natural setting. The Blacksmith Shop is part of the same community grouping as the Saddle Horse Barn and Bunkhouse and Cookhouse Building. Part of a cohesive group in an open and dramatic landscape, the Blacksmith Shop contributes significantly to the Character of the Bar U Ranch. This landmark value is reinforced by the designation of the complex as a national historic site of Canada.

Edward Mills, Historic Bar U Ranch Headquarters, Longview, Alberta. Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 92-017;Blacksmith Shop (Building 14), Bar U Ranch, Longview, Alberta, Heritage Character Statement 92-017.

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Blacksmith Shop should be respected.

Its early agricultural building type and good quality materials and craftsmanship as manifested in:
- its simple single storey massing with medium-pitched gable roof with two dormers on the south slope, chimney and ventilation cupola;
- the walls of round logs with squared dovetail-notched corners;
- the sliding access door in the north façade;
- the peeled pole rafters covered with roof boards;
- the chimney and central ventilation cupola;
- 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


Metal Products Manufacturing 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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View of buildings

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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