Glenbow Archives: NA-2186-52
Title: Burton-Deane house on west bank of Elbow
River, Calgary, Alberta.
Date: August 21, 1929
Remarks: Royal North-west Mounted Police building.
Prior to being moved across river. Temporary bridge-work under
construction, by Charles Riddock.
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The Deane House was built in 1906
for the then Superintendent of Fort Calgary, Captain Richard Deane. The
Captain felt that the quarters used by the previous Superintendent were
not good enough for his wife Martha. (Martha Deane never lived in the
house. She passed away before she could join her husband in Calgary)
A budget of $5,000 was set, the
plan was obtained and construction began in August using prisoners from
the guardhouse to excavate the basement. Due to a carpenters' wages
settlement, an increase from .45 to .55 per hour, the final price of
the house was $6,200. In his memoirs, Deane wrote about his new home,
"certainly the best house in Mounted Police occupancy at that date."
The house was originally built near
the corner of 9th Avenue and 6th Street SE facing east towards the
Barracks and parade square. Deane, an enthusiastic gardener, was
responsible for the much admired lawns and gardens surrounding the
In 1914, the Fort Calgary site was
purchased by the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway for use as a rail terminal
and the house was moved to the southeast corner, near the site of the
present day Interpretive Centre, for occupation by the station agent.
The house was purchased by C.L.
Jacques in 1929 and moved again, across the Elbow River to a new
foundation on its present site. It was pulled across the river on skids
with the use of temporary pilings and a steam tractor, a feat so
remarkable it was written up in an issue of 1930 Popular Mechanics. The
house was put to use as a boarding and rooming house and was commonly
known as Gaspe Lodge until 1973.
The City of Calgary purchased the
house in 1973 and for several years housed the Dandelion Gallery, an
artists and authors co-op and studio.
The R.C.M.P. Veterans Association
restored and enclosed the verandah as part of their Centennial
Celebration in 1974.
The Deane House, possibly the only
remaining building from the Fort Calgary site still intact, was
designated a Registered Historic Resource in 1978. It was vacated by
the Dandelion Gallery in September 1979.