Sick Horse Stable
Recognized Federal Heritage Building
© Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, M. Fieguth, 2003.
Fort Battleford National Historic Site of Canada, Battleford, Saskatchewan
Treasury Board Policy on Management of Real Property
1898 to 1898
Event, Person, Organization:
Sick Horse Stable
Fort Battleford NHSC
FHBRO Report Reference:
Description of Historic Place
The Sick Horse Stable is situated at the Fort Battleford National Historic Site of Canada, on the outskirts of the Town of Battleford.The rectangular, timber structure has a gable roof crowned by a lantern. The exterior is finished in rough stucco and features small high windows and a set of large double doors. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Sick Horse Stable is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The Sick Horse Stable is one of the best examples of a building associated with law, order and administration in the North West Territories, and particularly with the mounted patrol work of the Northwest Mounted Police. The stable was specifically designed for the care of horses, and is part of the only extant group of pre-1900 Mounted Police buildings from a major divisional post in the West. The building is one of a group of five structures within Fort Battleford National Historic Site of Canada, which was established by the federal government in 1951.
The Sick Horse Stable exhibits good aesthetic qualities. Built to accommodate sick horses and the veterinary surgeon, it is a small standard farm, built with a balloon frame. Very good functional design is evidenced in the interior that combines the office with the work area, while the roof lantern that provides both light and ventilation to the interior. Good craftsmanship can be seen in the small high windows and the large double doors.
The Sick Horse Stable reinforces the historic character of Fort Battleford National Historic Site of Canada and is a familiar landmark to residents and to visitors.
Sources: James de Jonge, Five Buildings, Fort Battleford National Historic Park, Battleford, Saskatchewan, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 89-010; Sick Horse Stable, Fort Battleford National Historic Site, Battleford, Saskatchewan, Heritage Character Statement 89-010.
The character-defining elements of the Sick Horse Stable should be respected.
Its good aesthetics, very good functional design and good quality materials and craftsmanship, for example: the simple, single-storey massing; the gable roof and gable roofed lantern; the balloon frame construction and exterior walls covered in a rough stucco finish; the large double doors, the small high windows for the horses, and smaller door and larger windows of the office space; the interior configuration of central combined driveway and feed alley that serves the single standing stalls and the box stalls.
The manner in which the Sick Horse Stable reinforces the historic character of the fort and is a well-known local landmark, as evidenced by: its simple design and materials that harmonize with the other buildings within the historic fort setting; its role as an important component of the group of surviving structures from the Fort Battleford National Historic Site of Canada that makes it familiar to locals and visitors.
Heritage Character Statement
The heritage character statement was developed by FHBRO to explain the reasons for the designation of a federal heritage building and what it is about the building that makes it significant (the heritage character). It is a key reference document for anyone involved in planning interventions to federal heritage buildings and is used by FHBRO in their review of interventions.
The Sick Horse Stable was constructed in 1898 by the Northwest Mounted Police for the care of horses. Designs were by Superintendent Cotton. The property was abandoned in 1924. In the 1940s the building was moved to its present location as part of its development as a historic site. The Environment Canada Parks Service is Custodian of the building. See FHBRO Building Report 89-10.
Reason for Designation
The building was designated Recognized because of its important historical associations and the functional aspects of its design.
The stable building is associated with law, order and administration in the Northwest, particularly the mounted patrol work of the Northwest Mounted Police. The building is part of the only extant group of pre-1900 Mounted Police buildings from a major divisional post in the West.
A plain, gable roofed, wood-frame building, the stable is a specialized facility built to accommodate horses and the veterinary surgeon. This function is clearly reflected in its design and fabric. The Sick Horse Stable is the only extant building of its type, erected for the Mounted Police on the Prairie frontier.
Character Defining Elements
The heritage value of the Sick Horse Stable resides in its simple gable-roofed form and those elements of its design and fabric that relate to its historic function.
A smaller example of the standard barn design, the building is characterized by its simple, rough stucco finish, small high windows and large double doors. A separate door and larger windows, two on the west and one on the south, mark the veterinary surgeon's office and work area.
The building's most prominent feature is the gable roofed lantern mounted on the roof which provides light and ventilation to the interior.
Existing roofing is rolled asphalt roofing. Replacement of this finish with a material that is more consistent with the design and period of the building, if it can be identified, would enhance it.
The large double doors lead to a central combined driveway and feed alley which serves the single standing stalls and the box stalls. The interior arrangement and finishes are largely intact. All aspects of the design and fabric related to the stalls, veterinary surgeon's facilities and ventilation system should be carefully protected.
The present siting of the Sick Horse Stable, adjacent to living quarters, is historically and functionally inappropriate. Should the opportunity arise, this juxtaposition could be addressed by landscape screening or relocation of the building.