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Frame House

390 King Street, Virden, Manitoba, R0M, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1991/03/05

View, from the east, of the main facade of the Frame House, Virden, 2005; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2005
Primary Elevation
View, from the northeast, of the main facades of the Frame House, Virden, 2005; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2005
View of Northeast Corner
No Image

Other Name(s)

Frame House
Bennet House
Pioneer Home Museum of Virden and Districts
Tapp House
Maison Bennett
Maison Tapp
Musée de la Maison de Pionniers de Virden et ses Districts

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1888/01/01 to 1888/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/05/23

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Frame House is a picturesque two-storey brick-veneer dwelling in the Queen Anne Revival style, constructed in 1888. It is situated in a residential area in Virden on an expansive well-groomed yard with mature trees, and now serves as a museum. The site's municipal designation applies to the house, the rear additions and the grounds upon which they sit.

Heritage Value

Frame House, one of the first constructed in Virden's prominent Quality Hill district, is an accurate, intact representation of a substantial late nineteenth-century residence in rural Manitoba. The well-maintained house features exemplary Queen Anne Revival design and details, including ornamental brickwork, a distinctive polygonal tower and bow windows. The dwelling also provides an important physical connection to pioneers of the Virden area, in this case the house's original occupants, the James Frame family. A hardware merchant, Frame was influential in the formative years of the community, holding various political offices, including as a member of the provincial legislative assembly.

Source: Town of Virden Municipal By-law No. 2392, March 5, 1991

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the Frame House site include:
- the spacious corner lot at the northeast corner of King Street and Ninth Avenue near Scallion Creek, denoting the border of Virden's quiet Quality Hill district

Key elements of the house's Queen Anne Revival-style heritage character include:
- the simple two-storey box-like form with cross-gable roof, contrasted by the polygonal tower at the northeast corner
- the wood-frame construction with vibrant orange-red brick veneer, set on thick fieldstone foundation walls
- the wooden verandah spanning most of the east elevation, infilled with windows and capped by a mansard roof
- the two-storey bow window on the north elevation and the double-hung windows throughout, with decorative vertical brick lintels and slightly protruding stone sills
- details such as the intricate bargeboard work on the east and north gables, the tower's ornamental brick course near the top and finial, the concrete quoins, etc.

Key elements that define the house's domestic function and intact heritage character include:
- the asymmetrical and irregular plan
- the entrance hall featuring a fireplace and dramatic winding staircase with a finely carved wooden banister
- the practical, yet appealing details and finishes, including linoleum on the second floor, metal heating grates, wainscotting in the kitchen, wooden V-joint plank cupboards, simple period wooden door and window surrounds, rear service staircase, etc.
- a selection of opulent finishes, including the stained-glass in the second-floor bow windows and front entrance transoms and sidelights, maple plank flooring throughout the main floor, etc.




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (MB)

Recognition Statute

Manitoba Historic Resources Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Site

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Peopling the Land

Function - Category and Type




Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Town of Virden PO Box 310 Virden MB

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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