Bunkhouse and Cookhouse
Links and documents
1909/01/01 to 1910/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Bunkhouse and Cookhouse at the Bar U Ranch National Historic Site of Canada, otherwise known as Building No. 11, consists of a gable-roofed, symmetrical two-storey main section oriented parallel to an access lane, with a large one-storey shed-roofed rear extension running across the full width of the building. The rear walls retain the original multi-pane windows. The overall impression of the massing is a modified saltbox form. The Bunkhouse and Cookhouse is adjacent to the Saddle Horse Barn and the Blacksmith Shop, a cohesive group on a flat grassy area in the Alberta rangelands. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Bunkhouse and Cookhouse is a Classified Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The Bunkhouse and Cookhouse is one of the best examples of the national theme of the development of ranching in Alberta, and of its importance in the development of Canada. Its purpose was as a cookhouse and bunkhouse and as the main cooking and eating facility for ranch hands. Its size is indicative of the scale of operations and the Bar U Ranch’s status as a large-scale ranching operation. It was built in response to the rapid growth of horse and cattle operations at the ranch under George Lane’s management. George Lane, a prominent Alberta cattleman, was hired at Bar U as ranch foreman in 1884 and ran the ranch between 1902 and 1925. The Bunkhouse and Cookhouse 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.
The Bunkhouse and Cookhouse is a very good example of an agricultural building used at ranches in the prairies. The building is a good example of early 1900s building practices at the Bar U and in the region. The structure incorporates good quality materials and craftsmanship. Its value lies in its functional design and form, simple massing, common construction details, exterior finish, interior layout and setting.
The Bunkhouse and Cookhouse is part of a cohesive complex of buildings arranged to great functional effect in an exceptional site and beautiful, natural setting. The Bunkhouse and Cookhouse contributes 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; Bunkhouse/Cookhouse (Building 11), Bar U Ranch, Longview, Alberta, Heritage Character Statement 92-017.
The character-defining elements of the Bunkhouse and Cookhouse should be respected.
Its agricultural appearance and good quality materials and craftsmanship as manifested in:
- the building’s unusual massing, with its gable roof, two-storey main section and one storey shed-roof extension;
- the light timber structural system;
- the exterior cladding of bevelled siding;
- the red and white colour scheme;
- the gabled roof.
The manner in which the building reinforces the character and setting 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
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…