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.

 

The deane house

Important notice: The Deane House is closed for rehabilitation until 2015.
The Deane House rehabilitation is Phase One of a larger MAKE HISTORY upgrade and expansion of Fort Calgary. Click HERE to learn more.

 


 

History

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 house.

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.


 
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phone: 403-290-1875