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Foreman’s House

Longview, Alberta, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1993/11/15

General view of the Foreman's House, showing the north and west elevations, 1992.; Department of Public Works, AES, PC, WRO / Ministère des Travaux publics, SAG, PC, BRO, 1992.
Corner view
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Other Name(s)

Foreman’s House
Building 4
Bâtiment 4

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1884/01/01 to 1887/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/06/22

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Foreman’s House at the Bar U Ranch, otherwise known as Building 4, is a rectangular, one-and-a-half storey building with a gabled roof covered with cedar shingles. The squared log construction has dovetailed corner notching. The colour scheme of the Foreman’s House, (barn red walls and white trim), keeps with the tradition across the Prairies and visually links it to the other buildings on site. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Foreman’s House is a Classified Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.

Historical value:
The Foreman’s House is one of the best examples of the national theme of the development of ranching in Alberta, and of its importance in the development of Canada. The Foreman’s House was constructed to accommodate George Lane, who was hired at Bar U in 1884 to serve as the ranch foreman and who ran the ranch between 1902 and 1925. The building is a component of the Bar U Ranch National Historic Site of Canada. It is also associated with Patrick Burns, who purchased the Bar U Ranch in 1927 to add to his vast cattle empire. Burns, who is recognized as the kingpin of the meat processing industry in western Canada during the mid-1920s, has been designated a person of national significance.

Architectural value:
The Foreman’s House is an excellent example of an agricultural type building built during the early stages of settlement in Western Canada. It serves as an example of traditional log design constructed by skilled builders. It stands out because of its squared log construction, its domestic character and its superior log-work and finishing. The introduction of structures like this one heralded a larger degree of permanence and stability at the ranch. The building incorporates good quality materials and craftsmanship.

Environmental value:
As part of a cohesive complex of buildings arranged to great functional effect in a simple and beautiful setting, the Foreman’s House contributes significantly to the character of the Bar U Ranch. This landmark value is reinforced by the designation of the complex as a national historic site of Canada.

Sources: Edward Mills, Historic Bar U Ranch Headquarters, Longview, Alberta. 92-017; Foreman’s House (Building 4), Bar U Ranch, Longview, Alberta, Heritage Character Statement 92-017.

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Foreman’s House should be respected.

Its log construction style and good quality materials and craftsmanship as manifested in:
- its simple and plain massing characterised by its one-and-a-half storey rectangular form and gable roof, which gives its domestic appearance;
- the squared log wall construction and superior log work;
- the domestic appearance;
- the gable walls of rough cut milled lumber, sheathed with shingles;
- the roof pole rafters mortised into the sidewalls;
- the red and white colour scheme.

The manner in which the building reinforces the character and setting of the Bar U Ranch.




Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy

Recognition Type

Classified Federal Heritage Building

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type


Single Dwelling


Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




Related Places

General view of Bar U Ranch

Bar U Ranch National Historic Site of Canada

Bar U Ranch National Historic Site of Canada comprises 148.43 hectares of rangeland that constitute the original headquarters site of an Alberta cattle ranch established in the…


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