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Self Feeder, former Bunkhouse, Building 30

Longview, Alberta, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1993/11/15

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Other Name(s)

Self Feeder, former Bunkhouse, Building 30
Self Feeder, former Bunkhouse, Building 30
Silo, ancien dortoir, bâtiment 30

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1909/01/01 to 1910/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/05/04

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The two-storey Self Feeder with a gable roof clad with cedar shingles sits on a concrete foundation. Its walls are of light frame construction, covered on the interior with diagonal board sheathing and on the exterior with diagonally laid shiplap covered with random-width, horizontal beveled siding. On the south bank of Pekisko Creek, it sits in a field beyond the northeast perimeter of the Ranch’s headquarters site. The building’s colour scheme of barn red and white trim visually links it to the other buildings on site. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Self Feeder is a Classified Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations and its architectural and environmental values.

Historical Value
The Bar U Ranch complex is one of the best examples of the development of the ranching industry in Alberta and its importance in the development of Canada. The Self Feeder is associated with this development and illustrates the tradition of innovative adaptive re-use and relocation that characterized the approach to building stock at the Bar U Ranch and other ranches. The Self Feeder is associated with George Lane, a prominent Alberta cattleman who was hired at Bar U in 1884 to serve as the ranch foreman and who ran the ranch between 1902 and 1925. The building is also associated with Patrick Burns, who purchased the Bar U in 1927 to add to his vast cattle empire. Burns, who is recognized as the kingpin of the meat processing industry in western Canada during the mid-1920’s, has been designated a person of national significance.

Architectural Value
The Self Feeder building is a very good example of a simple, function-oriented design and has a strong aesthetic impact due to its scale, massing and patina. It is of interest for its original design as a bunkhouse and its adaptability for very different purposes.

Environmental Value
The Self Feeder is part of a cohesive complex of buildings arranged to great functional effect and reinforces the present visual character of the Bar U Ranch. The Self Feeder’s relationship with the Piggery and Livestock Shed, and its setting apart from the ranch headquarters are important. The building’s color scheme continues a tradition across the Prairies and visually links it to the other buildings on site. The Self Feeder is also a component of the collection of pre-1927 buildings, which contributes to the landmark value of the complex, as one of the region’s most important early ranch sites.

Edward Mills, Historic Bar U Ranch Headquarters, Longview, Alberta, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Building Report 92-017.

Self Feeder (Former Bunkhouse, Building 30), Bar U Ranch, Longview, Alberta. Heritage Character Statement 92-017.

Character-Defining Elements

The following character defining elements of the Self Feeder should be respected, for example:

Its very good simple, function-oriented design, construction materials, techniques and strong aesthetic impact due to its scale, massing and patina as manifested in:

-Its large scale and simple two-storey massing.
-Its walls of light frame construction.
-Its interior diagonal board sheathing and exterior diagonally laid shiplap with random-width horizontal beveled siding.
-Its concrete wall foundation.
-The disparity in size between the building footprint and its foundation.
-Its colour scheme.

The manner in which the Self Feeder, as part of a cohesive complex of buildings, reinforces the present visual character of the Bar U Ranch.




Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy

Recognition Type

Classified Federal Heritage Building

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type


Food Supply
Food Storage Facility


Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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View of buildings

Bar U Ranch National Historic Site of Canada

Bar U Ranch National Historic Site of Canada comprises 148.43 hectares of rangeland that constitute the original headquarters site of an Alberta cattle ranch established in the…


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