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15979 Bow Bottom Trail SE, Calgary, Alberta, T2J, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2001/04/03

The William Roper Hull Ranche House Provincial Historic Resource, Calgary (circa 1897); Glenbow Archives, PB-896-2
South elevation
The William Roper Hull Ranche House Provincial Historic Resource, Calgary (March 2000); Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch, 2000
South and west elevations
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Other Name(s)

Hull Ranche House
The Ranche Restaurant
Hull Estate House
Hull / Burns Ranche House
Bow Valley Ranche House
Government Supply Farm
Native Supply Farm
Bow Valley Ranch

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/08/03

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The William Roper Hull Ranche House is a late nineteenth century, brick, two-storey, Tudor (Gothic) Revival style house with Victorian Stick detailing. It is situated on approximately half a hectare in southeast Calgary near the confluence of Fish Creek and the Bow River on Crown land within Fish Creek Provincial Park. Two additions were made to the ranch house in 1946 and 1957.

Heritage Value

The heritage value of the William Roper Hull Ranche House site lies in its representation of the upper-class society that emerged amid the development of ranching in Southern Alberta. The architecture of the ranch house establishes a direct link with the early ranching industry in Southern Alberta and the lifestyles of the ranching elite, notably its owners, the influential cattle barons William Roper Hull and Patrick Burns.

The house demonstrates the progression from subsistence ranching to commercial empire within a matter of decades. William Roper Hull, a successful rancher and businessman, bought the property in 1892 and when the original log ranch house burned down, commissioned a brick, two-storey house from James Llewellyn Wilson (foremost architect in Calgary in 1888-90). It is one of the few remaining residential buildings designed by Wilson, and is a reflection of elegant country entertaining in late Victorian English style meant to demonstrate Hull's success and his ascension into the ranching aristocracy in Calgary. The house became the focal point of social gatherings and represented the height of gracious country living when it was built in 1896. In 1902, Patrick Burns bought the property. Burns (a senator after 1931) amassed one of the first personal fortunes in Southern Alberta by building an integrated meat-packing company. He too had a profound effect on the economic and social life of Alberta, notably as one of the "Big Four" investors who founded the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede in 1912. During the period of the Burns' family ownership, the ranch house was used as a private family home and headquarters of the Bow Valley Ranche. The house was continuously occupied by Hull and his descendants from 1896 to 1973, when the property was purchased by the Government of Alberta and incorporated into Fish Creek Provincial Park.

Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 1919)

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the William Roper Hull Ranche House include elements associated with the original construction of the ranch house.

Key elements of the ranch house include:
- the use of balloon frame, masonry and sandstone foundation construction;
- its design, consisting of a two-storey rectangular main structure;
- its steeply pitched roof with upper-storey windows piercing the roofline as gable dormers, tall chimney stacks, verandas, mullioned and bay windows, as well as timber work at the eaves as decoration;
- its original interior detailing, including main floor sitting room walls and ceilings, original plaster covered with stencilling and paint, and original decorative fir baseboards, corner boards, door and window trim, handrails, and balustrades;
- the original floor plan of the 1896 residence is retained;
- its division into front and back zones;
- the fine architectural detailing of the front zone;
- the mass and form of the west wing and its exterior finishes.




Recognition Authority

Province of Alberta

Recognition Statute

Historical Resources Act

Recognition Type

Provincial Historic Resource

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1896/01/01 to 1973/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Extraction and Production

Function - Category and Type


Commerce / Commercial Services
Eating or Drinking Establishment


Food Supply
Farm or Ranch
Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer

James Llewellyn Wilson


Jean Watson

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. 1919)

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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