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Work Horse Barn, Building 17

Longview, Alberta, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1993/11/15

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Other Name(s)

Work Horse Barn, Building 17
Work Horse Barn, Building 17
Écurie des chevaux de trait, bâtiment 17

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1883/01/01 to 1892/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/06/22

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Work Horse Barn is the largest log structure at the Bar U Ranch and is divided between two sections: the two-storey, rectangular log building with a gabled roof and a later addition, a one-storey light frame addition with a shed roof to its west. The milled cedar shingle covered roof ends in a projecting peak to the south end of the roof ridge. The walls of the original section consist of large round logs with squared dovetail-notched corners. The building’s colour scheme, barn red walls and white trim, continues a tradition across the Prairies and matches other buildings on the site. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Work Horse Barn is a Classified Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values:

Historical value:
The Work Horse Barn is an excellent example of the national theme of ranching in Alberta, and its importance in the development of Canada. The structure is a component of the Bar U Ranch. The Work Horse Barn is the largest log structure at the ranch and was undoubtedly a key component in early ranch operations. The Work Horse Barn is also associated with Patrick Burns, who purchased the Bar U Ranch in 1927 to add to his vast cattle empire. Burns who is recognised 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 Work Horse Barn is a very good example of the agricultural building style used at ranches in the prairies. The building 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.

Environmental value:
The Work Horse Barn is part of a cohesive complex of buildings arranged to great functional effect in an exceptional site and beautiful, natural setting. The Work Horse Barn 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.

Edward Mills, Historic Bar U Ranch Headquarters, Longview, Alberta. Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 92-017

Work Horse Barn, (Building 17), Bar U Ranch, Longview, Alberta. Heritage Character Statement 92-017

Character-Defining Elements

The following character-defining elements of the Work Horse Barn should be respected, for example:

Its agricultural building type and good quality materials and craftsmanship as manifested in:

- the building’s large scale.
- the gabled roof clad with shingles.
- the rounded log wall with squared dovetail-notched corners of the original structure.
- the light timber structural system and cladding of the addition.
- the roof of pole rafters supported with purlins and queen posts.
- the projected protective peak for the sling mechanism at the south end of the roof
- the Bar U brand stencilled on the roof.
- the simulated log concrete veneer on the north façade.
- its simple detailing and the vernacular nature of its materials.
- the red and white colour scheme.
- its interior layout.

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
Barn, Stable or Other Animal Housing

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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