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OBADIAH PLACE

Amber Valley, Alberta, T0A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1999/02/25

Obadiah Place Provincial Historic Resource, Amber Valley (May 2003); Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch, 2003
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Other Name(s)

Bowen Residence
OBADIAH PLACE

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1938/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/09/14

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Obadiah Place is a vernacular wood one and one-half storey "square house" with four farm outbuildings (and a phone booth) located in a rural setting on a 1.21 hectare parcel of land on the Obadiah Bowen farm in the Amber Valley district of the County of Athabasca.

Heritage Value

The historical significance of Obadiah Place lies in its association with the Afro-American settlement of the Amber Valley area of the County of Athabasca in north-eastern Alberta, and two of the community's leading citizens, Willis Reese Bowen and his son Obadiah Bowen.

In 1911, a group of black Americans emigrated from Oklahoma and filed for homestead on lands north of Edmonton and east of Athabasca Landing. Obadiah Place is located on one such homestead, settled by Willis Reese Bowen in 1913. Bowen's original log cabin served as a central part of the community, housed as the first post office and was the site of the community's first telephone. The log cabin was replaced in 1938 when Obadiah Bowen, his son, built the current house. Obadiah was very active in the community, and served as pastor at an interdenominational church built in 1953 on land he donated about a half mile from the house.

The dwelling is a one and one-half storey square prairie vernacular wood frame building that retains most of its original architectural features. The farmhouse, yard and outbuildings, represent the experience of homesteading in an isolated area as well as vernacular basic wood frame construction that is becoming increasingly rare in rural Alberta. Though not the original homestead dwelling, this house is the oldest structure in the community. Owing to its size, it was frequently used for social gatherings.

Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 2005)

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Obadiah Place include:
- farmhouse with restored horizontal cedar siding and 1959 addition to rear elevation;
- medium hip roof with four hipped wall dormers;
- restored cedar shingle roof;
- balloon frame system on stone rubble surface footing;
- brick chimney on a bracket in centre of building;
- original floor plan: central hall, stair case, kitchen, dining space, parlour and bedroom (main); bedrooms and bathroom off a square hall (second floor);
- fir tongue and groove floor laid over with linoleum floors;
- fenestration and door pattern;
- ancillary outbuildings: barn, chicken coop, smoke house, outhouse;
- phone booth;
- continued location on its original site.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Alberta

Recognition Authority

Province of Alberta

Recognition Statute

Historical Resources Act

Recognition Type

Provincial Historic Resource

Recognition Date

1999/02/25

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

n/a

Theme - Category and Type

Peopling the Land
Settlement

Function - Category and Type

Current

Historic

Food Supply
Farm or Ranch

Architect / Designer

n/a

Builder

Howard Hamilton

Additional Information

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. 2005)

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

4665-0530

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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