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Dow House

721 Mill Road, Boissevain, Manitoba, R0K, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1995/01/24

Primary elevation, from the east, of the Dow House, Boissevain, 2005; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2005
Primary Elevation
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1910/01/01 to 1910/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/05/16

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Dow House, completed in ca. 1910, is a 2 1/2-storey brick structure in a residential area in Boissevain. The municipal designation applies to the building and its lot.

Heritage Value

The stately Dow House, a large and finely detailed red brick dwelling of four-square design, is an exceptional example of substantial prairie architecture. Its broad facade, with a well-conceived verandah and strong roofline, recalls the aspirations of community and business leaders in a period of economic growth. The well-known Boissevain landmark housed the prominent George Dow family for over 80 years, including businessman Edward Dow, also the town's mayor (1946-68) and a provincial politician.

Source: Town of Boissevain By-law No. 94-21, January 24, 1995

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the Dow House site include:
- its location on Mill Road (Highway 10) in Boissevain and the building's placement, facing east, on a large well-developed property, prominently visible from the busy nearby street

Key exterior elements that define the dwelling's well-appointed four-square design include:
- the tall, broad 2 1/2-storey rectangular massing with two-storey canted bays on the main (east) and south elevations and a small one-storey rear extension
- the steeply pitched, truncated hip roof with hip-roofed dormers centred on all elevations and wide eaves
- the large wraparound verandah integrated into the form of the dwelling and defined by sturdy Tuscan wood columns set upon low shingled sides, with a roomy balcony above the front entrance
- the red brick finish complemented by dark-stained shingles on the dormers and a high fieldstone foundation and contrasted by white-painted wood trim
- the symmetrical fenestration composed mostly of abundant tall rectangular openings with segmental arches and concrete sills, including one wider window on the main floor of the south bay; also, smaller horizontally placed dormer windows
- details such as the tall chimney with brick stringcourses and corbelling, a decorative pattern of white-painted rectangles along the base of the balcony, etc.

Key elements that define the dwelling's interior heritage character include:
- the centre-hall plan with a large vestibule and second-floor layout with a wide central hallway
- the maple woodwork on the main floor, including a staircase, pocket doors, flooring, generous baseboards and window trim
- luxury features such as the fireplace finished in oak and tile, the ceiling medallion and light fixture in the dining room, a leaded-glass piano window, the transom windows with metal hardware, etc.




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


Single Dwelling


Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Town of Boissevain 420 South Railway Box 490 Boissevain MB R0K 0E0

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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