HUNT HOUSE (H.B.C. LOG CABIN)
HBC Log Cabin
H. B. C. Log Cabin
Hudson's Bay Company Log Cabin
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Hunt House (H.B.C. Log Cabin) is a late nineteenth century, one-storey log building located on a single lot near the confluence of the Bow and Elbow Rivers in Calgary. The house is a simple structure, featuring a wood shingled exterior, gable roof, and brick chimney. Two lean-to additions are evident on the sides of the building.
The heritage value of the Hunt House lies in its association with the work of the Hudson's Bay Company (H.B.C.) in Alberta and early settlement in Calgary. It also possesses heritage value as a rare example of early architecture in southern Alberta.
In 1875, one year after their arrival in Alberta, the North-West Mounted Police (N.W.M.P.) built Fort Calgary at the confluence of the Bow and Elbow Rivers. Shortly thereafter, the I.G. Baker Company of Montana and the H.B.C. built trading posts in the area. The H.B.C. site, situated on the east side of the Elbow River, also contained several auxiliary buildings, including the Hunt House, which was probably constructed at some point between 1876 and 1881 and likely served as a residence for a freighter or interpreter with the company. The establishment of law and order, the beginnings of commerce and trade, and the federal government's decision to allow for large ranching leases in southern Alberta attracted cattlemen, settlers, and businessmen to Fort Calgary in the early 1880s. With the arrival of the transcontinental railway in 1883, the small tent and shack community began its transformation into an urban centre.
The Hunt House is one of the oldest buildings in Alberta and is one of the few remaining structural reminders of the presence and significance of the Hudson's Bay Company in the province. The Hunt House is one of less than 25 extant buildings in Alberta constructed prior to 1882 and is also Calgary's oldest building on its original site. It remains one of only three H.B.C. buildings still standing in the province and thus provides a vital historic connection to the company that established so much of the early economy, transportation network, and social life of what would become Alberta. The building original log frame remains, although it is now hidden behind shingles. The style of the original log building expresses a rare form of construction: unlike many H.B.C. buildings, the Hunt House did not employ post-on-sill construction, but rather the dovetail corner method typical of southern Alberta and expressive of American cultural influences.
Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 345)
The character-defining elements of the Hunt House (H.B.C. Log Cabin) include such features as:
- mass and form;
- original log construction with dove-tail corners;
- gable roof;
- partial cellar;
- original interior elements, including barber pole supporting cellar roof;
- window and door openings.
Province of Alberta
Historical Resources Act
Provincial Historic Resource
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Trade and Commerce
Function - Category and Type
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch, Old St. Stephen's College, 8820 - 112 Street, Edmonton, AB T6G 2P8 (File: Des. 345)
Cross-Reference to Collection