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North American Lumber Co. Building

162 - 2nd Street, Binscarth, Manitoba, R0J, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1991/10/09

View of main elevation of the North American Lumber Co. Building, Binscarth 2005; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2005
Main Elevation
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Other Name(s)

North American Lumber Co. Building
Binscarth and District Gordon Orr Memorial Museum
Musée commémoratif de Binscarth et District de Gordon Orr

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1893/01/01 to 1893/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/07/15

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The North American Lumber Co. Building, a moderately sized wooden structure constructed in 1893, sits on a grassed lot among a melange of residential and commercial buildings on Binscarth's 2nd Avenue. The site's municipal designation applies to the lot and building.

Heritage Value

A modest establishment, the North American Lumber Co. Building recalls the simple vernacular traditions, local construction materials and restrained ornamentation that characterized many of the early commercial outlets built in Manitoba's rural communities. With a front display area quaintly ordered by an abundance of wall shelving, contents aptly showcased by a substantial display window and a back stock area housing oversized goods in an uncomplicated manner, the store straddles the line between clever advertiser and utilitarian supplier. It also holds value as a good representative of the kind of vital amenities that transformed pioneer life around the turn of the twentieth century. The local provision of milled lumber and other materials enabled growing communities such as Binscarth to replace their rough log and other early structures with a generation of precise and more permanent wood-frame buildings.

Source: Village of Binscarth By-law No. 445, October 9, 1991

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the site's heritage character include:
- its convenient location on a large lot on the south side of 2nd Avenue, adjacent to Binscarth's main business street

Key elements that define the building's external heritage character include:
- its modestly sized and simply massed rectangular volume, 1 1/2 storeys high, with a one-storey lean-to
- the vernacular wood-frame construction and utilitarian design and finishes, including horizontal wood siding and a gable roof concealed behind a two-storey false parapet
- the functional arrangement of doors and windows, including one large rectangular display window and two oversized sliding wooden doors on the east elevation
- the minimal ornamentation, including the carved wooden cornice and brackets, intricate antique metal light standard above the door and front door hardware, simple painted lettering beneath the cornice reading 'NORTH AMERICAN LUMBER [ampersand] SUPPLY COMPANY LTD.' with the words 'LUMBER' and 'HARDWARE' in smaller letters below, and pressed tin panels on the back of the parapet

Key elements that define the building's internal function as run by the North American Lumber Co. include:
- the formal plan, separating display from sunken stock areas through simple ordering and level changes
- the unpretentious finishes throughout, with the front shop portion featuring painted wooden plank flooring, plank ceiling and wainscotting, and the rear stock areas with unsealed and unpainted oversized plank floors, exposed structure and basic wooden stairs leading to a storage loft
- the modest detailing, including simple shelving lining display-area walls and wooden door casings




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (MB)

Recognition Statute

Manitoba Historic Resources Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Site

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce

Function - Category and Type




Commerce / Commercial Services
Shop or Wholesale Establishment

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Village of Binscarth, Box 54 Binscarth MB R0J 0G0

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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