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near Cochrane, Alberta, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1992/11/04

The Perrenoud Homestead Provincial Historic Resource (April 2000); Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management, 2000
View of log farmhouse and house
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Other Name(s)

Perrenoud House

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1889/01/01 to 1902/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/03/06

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Perrenoud Homestead includes two residences situated on 4.5 hectares (11.1 acres) of land just north of Cochrane. The early 1890s log farmhouse with 1902 extension sits adjacent to a large, 1910 home featuring a hipped roof, verandah wrapping around two sides, and south-facing bay windows. The site also features a blacksmith shop, granaries, a sawmill, and a cattle chute.

Heritage Value

The heritage value of the Perrenoud Homestead lies in its association with early ranching operations in southern Alberta and in its juxtaposition of an original log farmhouse with the more comfortable family home that replaced it.

The Perrenoud Homestead site serves as a vital link to the establishment of ranching in Alberta in the 1880s and 1890s. The land on which the Perrenoud Homestead is located was originally part of the massive grazing lease granted in the early 1880s to the Cochrane Ranche Company, the pioneering cattle operation organized by eastern capitalist and Senator Matthew Cochrane. Cochrane had been instrumental in securing amendments to the Dominion Lands Act to allow for large grazing leases in western Canada and his massive venture - the first large-scale ranching operation in southern Alberta - attracted other settlers and ranchers to the region, including Charles Perrenoud. Born in France in 1863 and trained as a jeweller, Perrenoud came to Western Canada in 1886 to set up a ranching operation. After several years working on ranches at Sheep Creek and Mortimer Coulee, he staked his claim in the early 1890s to a homestead north of present-day Cochrane on lands formerly leased by the Cochrane Ranche Company. With the help of his younger brother Ernest, who had arrived in 1888, Charles established a horse ranch on his claim and eventually amassed a herd of 1900 saddle and work horses, including Hackneys, Berman Coach horses, Clydesdales, and Shires. The Perrenouds were one of several French families in the area and participated in the early efforts to profitably establish ranching in southern Alberta, particularly in the Cochrane region.

The Perrenoud Homestead site features the rare juxtaposition of an early log farmhouse with a more capacious residence constructed later by Perrenoud. The log shack was erected upon Perrenoud's arrival in the early 1890s and enlarged when he married Laura Phipps in 1902. The demands of the Boer War and the needs of the many immigrants who came to the Prairies around the turn of the century boosted the market for horses and swelled profits for the Perrenouds. By 1910 they were able to construct a new home - a basic, but comfortable, square building with little ornamentation. It features a wrap-around verandah, two bay windows, and a hipped roof. The home's simplicity suggests that the contractors, the Chapman Brothers of Cochrane, may have employed a standard plan in constructing the house. There is a high degree of original fabric on both the exterior and the interior of the home. The site also features several buildings and structures associated with the practical requirements of ranching, including a blacksmith shop, granaries, a sawmill, and a cattle chute.

Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 1053)

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Perrenoud Homestead include such features as:

- shelter belt of mature evergreens defining the western edge of the property along the access road.

1889 Log Farmhouse with 1902 addition:
- mass, form, and style;
- round log construction with double-notched corner joints;
- low pitched gable roofs with timber gable ends;
- chimney;
- fenestration pattern and style;
- 1902 addition includes milled horizontal siding and a joist and rafter roof.

1910 House:
- mass, form, and style;
- hipped roof with corbelled chimney stack;
- clapboard siding;
- verandah wrapping around east and south elevations featuring turned verandah posts, gingerbread trim and balustraded railing;
- fenestration pattern and style, including double hung windows and two bay windows on east elevation;
- panelled front door with fanlights;
- original interior elements, including fir tongue and groove flooring and dark-stained tongue and groove pine panelling;
- mature clump of poplar and evergreens and caragana to the east of the house, planted in 1911;
- associated artifact collection.

Ancillary buildings and structures, including:
- blacksmith shop;
- granaries;
- sawmill;
- cattle chute.




Recognition Authority

Province of Alberta

Recognition Statute

Historical Resources Act

Recognition Type

Provincial Historic Resource

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Extraction and Production

Function - Category and Type


Historic or Interpretive Site


Food Supply
Farm or Ranch

Architect / Designer



Chapman Brothers of Cochrane

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. 1053)

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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