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Smith Barn Site

Happyland RM 231, Saskatchewan, S0N, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1991/08/13

Photo of the site and barn model (facing west), 2004.; Government of Saskatchewan, Marvin Thomas, 2004.
The Smith Barn Site, near Leader, SK
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Other Name(s)

Smith Barn Site
W.T. Smith Ranch Barn

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1914/01/01 to 1914/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2004/11/25

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Smith Barn Site is a Municipal Heritage Property consisting of 4645 square metres of land located approximately ten kilometres northwest of Leader. The designation applies to the foundation remains of a large barn demolished in 1921.

Heritage Value

The heritage value of the Smith Barn Site lies in its association with one of the largest barns ever built in North America. The barn was built by W.T. "Horseshoe" Smith, a locally-noted cattle rancher from Great Falls, Montana. Smith financed and built the barn in 1914 at the forks of the Red Deer and South Saskatchewan Rivers west of Leader. It cost Smith $82,000 and required a wagon load and a half of nails; 32 wagon loads of fir lumber imported from British Columbia; 30,000 sacks of cement; and 4645 square metres of galvanized roofing. The barn was over 122 metres long and 39 metres wide and took one hundred men over five months to build. A scale model of the barn was erected on the site in 1991.

The heritage value of the Smith Barn Site also lies in its relationship with the ranching industry in southwest Saskatchewan. The size of the barn and the thousands of grazing acres Smith had acquired made the barn one of the most important operations in the region. With a staff of 160, its own sports organizations and international rodeo, the barn and ranch were significant contributors to the social and economic fabric of the southwest region. Smith’s death in 1918 and the barn’s demolition in 1921 marked the end of the Smith Ranch, though the barn foundations are still identified as a community landmark.


Rural Municipality of Happyland No. 231 Bylaw No. 91-4 of 1991.

Character-Defining Elements

The heritage value of the Smith Barn Site resides in the following character-defining elements:
-those elements remaining from the barn including the concrete foundation;
-those elements that reflect the size and appearance of barn such as the scale replica model.




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (SK)

Recognition Statute

Heritage Property Act, s. 11(1)(a)

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Property

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1921/01/01 to 1921/12/31

Theme - Category and Type

Peopling the Land

Function - Category and Type


Food Supply
Rural District or Area


Food Supply
Farm or Ranch

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Department of Culture, Youth and Recreation Heritage Resources Branch 1919 Saskatchewan Drive File: MHP 1427

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

MHP 1427



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