“During the past three weeks the Spanish influenza has swept through this institution. I regret to report that as a result, five of our pupils are dead: Georgina House, Jane Baptiste, Sarah Soosay, David Lightning, William Cardinal…At the time the children died practically everyone was sick so that it was impossible for us to bury the dead. I thought the best thing to do was to have the undertaker from Red Deer take charge of and bury the bodies. This was done, and they now lie buried in Red Deer.”
These words, written by then-Principal Joseph F. Woodsworth to the department of Indian Affairs, now also appear in the Red Deer City Cemetery, on a monument commemorating the lives of four of the five young men and women who passed away on November 15 and 16, 1918, while attending Red Deer Industrial School. Until now, their names and resting places within the Red Deer City Cemetery had remained largely unmarked and their stories untold. Read more →
St. Luke’s Anglican Church in Red Deer is one of the more recent additions to the Alberta Register of Historic Places. St. Luke’s is significant due to its Gothic Revival style of architecture and the use of sandstone in its construction. The Government of Alberta previously designated the church as a Registered Historic Resource in 1978. The designation was revaluated and upgraded to a Provincial Historic Resource on August 27, 2012. St. Luke’s was also designated as a Municipal Historic Resource by the City of Red Deer in 2009.
The parish of St. Luke’s was formed in 1893. In 1899, Reverend Joshua Hinchliffe became the parish priest and proposed the construction of a new church at a central location in Red Deer. Construction, which was done in stages, began in the summer of 1899. The chancel and sanctuary were completed in 1900, followed by the nave in 1904 and vestry and tower in 1906. The church was built by an Edmonton-based firm, but it is very likely that Rev. Hinchliffe played a large role in the design. Hinchliffe had trained for the priesthood in England where he would undoubtedly have been influenced by architectural theories of the Ecclesiological Society. This group of Anglican theorists developed architectural guidelines for Anglican cathedrals and churches. Amongst other things, they strongly mandated the use of the Gothic Revival style, a clear definition between areas of the church and the use of natural materials, particularly stone walls with wood interiors and roofs.
St. Luke’s Anglican Church incorporates many of the design and construction elements characteristic of the principles mandated by the Ecclesiological Society. It is constructed of locally-acquired sandstone and features Gothic arches throughout. There is a clear demarcation between the sanctuary and nave and it is oriented on an east-west axis, with the altar to the east and the main entrance and tower to the west. Somewhat unusual in a province where most early churches were built of wood, St. Luke’s is a wonderful, if smaller than typical, example of an Ecclesiological Society-influenced church in Western Canada.
St. Luke’s Anglican Church remains in use as an active church and is the oldest actively-used church in Red Deer. More information on St. Luke’s can be found on the Alberta Register of Historic Places.
Written by: Ron Kelland, Historic Places Research Officer and Geographical Names Program Coordinator
Listing a Municipal Historic Resource on the Alberta Register of Historic Places is normally the last step in protecting a locally significant historic place. There are several types of historic places that cannot be listed on the register. Understanding which ones are ineligible will help you understand what a historic place is and understand the purpose of designation under the Historical Resources Act.
Only sites that are protected because of the heritage value they possess are eligible for listing on the Alberta Register of Historic Places. The register is a database containing information on places that have been protected because of their historical or archaeological significance. The register is not a list of sites that are of historical interest – that would be the Alberta Heritage Survey Program database.
Some types of resources cannot be listed on the Alberta Register of Historic Places. Properties that cannot be listed include:
a property outside municipal jurisdiction;
a property that cannot be designated as a historic resource pursuant to the Historical Resources Act;
small movable objects;
modern reconstructions, no matter how accurate, of a historic place; or
a building, structure or object situated in a historic park or village (like Heritage Park in Calgary).
What are some examples of these types of property? Sites owned by the Crown cannot be designated as municipal historic resources. So, post offices owned by Canada Post or a provincial court house cannot be listed. Certain types of property (such as cemeteries) are regulated under other provincial laws (such as the Cemeteries Act). Conflicts between the Historical Resources Act and other provincial statutes can occasionally annul the protective nature of designation. When this is the case, those sites cannot be listed because they are not, in practice, protected.
A historic place that clearly does not have heritage value cannot be listed on the Alberta Register of Historic Places. A contemporary reconstruction of a historic place, no matter how well executed, is by nature not a historic place. Reconstructions are built from the perspective of the present and use modern tools and materials. It’s unlikely that a reproduction will accurately reproduce a historic place in minute detail. Historic parks or villages are even worse in this respect. A historic park does not reproduce a historic streetscape in its original location. They are artificial groupings of buildings that have been created for purposes of interpretation.
These are only the most obvious exemptions. There are other more subjective exemptions, like birthplaces, moved resources and things less than 50 years old. I will discuss those exemptions in an upcoming blog post. If you’d like to know more about exceptions to listing on the Alberta Register of Historic Places, you can download the Evaluating Historic Places manual from the Municipal Heritage Partnership Program website.
Written by: Michael Thome, Municipal Heritage Services Officer