DR. HENRY GEORGE RESIDENCE
Dr. George Residence
Dr. George Kemp Historic House
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Dr. Henry George Residence is a late nineteenth century, two and one-half storey building located on four lots in the Town of Innisfail. The building sits on a low hill overlooking Dodds Lake to the north and features a brick facade, hipped roof, wraparound verandah, and two corbelled chimneys. The site also features several significant landscape elements including the large front lawn, maple tree, and pine trees.
The heritage value of the Dr. Henry George Residence lies primarily in its connection with the original owners of the home, Dr. George and his wife, Barbara Mary Bernard George.
Dr. George was a pioneering figure in central Alberta, helping to establish and develop the early institutions of science, medicine, and museology in the province. George was born in England and received his medical training there before immigrating to Calgary in 1889 and finding work as a physician. During his time in the fledgling settlement, he established a medical practice with Dr. Neville Lindsay and served as both the Canadian Pacific Railway's (C.P.R.'s)doctor, ministering to three native tribes in the area, and the assistant surgeon for the North-West Mounted Police (N.W.M.P.). At one time, he tended to Chief Crowfoot. In 1893, two years after the completion of the Calgary and Edmonton (C and E) Railway had thrown open central Alberta to settlement, George and his family moved to Innisfail and constructed their home - which they christened "Lindum Lodge" - which initially served as both a residence and an office for Dr. George's practice. An avid collector and amateur ornithologist, George was passionately committed to the expansion of scientific understanding. He was instrumental in the creation of several early scientific organizations in the province, including the North-West Entomological Society formed in 1899 (and replaced in 1902 by the Territorial Natural History Society) and the Alberta Natural History Society founded in 1906. In 1904, George renovated his home in order to display his considerable collection of natural and cultural artefacts; a year later, he opened Dr. George's Natural History Museum to the public, the first museum in the province outside of the National Parks. George continued to practice medicine in Innisfail until 1907, when he relocated his practice (and his museum) to Red Deer.
Dr. George's wife, Barbara Mary Bernard George, was also a significant contributor to the development of the natural sciences in the province and a well-regarded artist. Sharing the same passion for the natural world as her husband, Mrs. George became an authority on the identification of Alberta's wild flowers and served from 1907 until 1921 as a member of the Executive Committee of the Alberta Natural History Society.
The Dr. Henry George Residence embodies typical domestic architecture of late nineteenth century Alberta. The building possesses considerable local significance: one of Innisfail's earliest residences, the home was constructed in large measure with local materials. The house's initial layout and landscaping contain some distinctly British elements - a testament to the English background of Dr. George - while several of the significant alterations made around World War Two - including changes to the roofline, transformations of the space on the second floor, and the addition of dormer windows - express the functional changes made by a later owner to expand its use as a boardinghouse. The exterior of the home has been extensively restored to its 1920s appearance and currently houses a museum and tea room.
Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 342)
The character-defining elements of the Dr. Henry George Residence include such features as:
- mass, form, and style;
- red brick facade with segmental arches over windows;
- cedar shingled gable on hip roof, featuring decorative cresting, corbelled chimney and prominent gable centred on the primary (south) facade;
- fenestration pattern;
- raised ground floor wraparound verandah supported by posts;
- elements of the interior, including floor plan, decorative arches, tongue and groove flooring, and door and window trim;
- elements of landscape, including large front lawn, maple tree, and pine trees.
Province of Alberta
Historical Resources Act
Provincial Historic Resource
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Building Social and Community Life
- Community Organizations
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. 342)
Cross-Reference to Collection