Peter Erasmus House

Built in the 1860s, the Peter Erasmus House, now located in Fort Edmonton Park, is the oldest building in Edmonton.

This log house was moved from its original location near the Victoria Mission (Smoky Lake County) to Fort Edmonton Park in 1974. The exact date of the home’s construction is unknown, but it is thought to have been around 1861. The cabin is a good example of the simple log construction common in early Alberta. It was built with dovetail corner joints and with mud and plaster between the logs to keep it warm and dry. It had a small footprint and had two stories, each comprised of a single room. This design would have made it easier to heat in the long, cold winters.

The house is named after Peter Erasmus who was born in 1833 in the Red River settlement of Manitoba to a Danish father and Métis mother. Peter was intelligent and could speak ten languages, making him a perfect interpreter for Cree chiefs when they negotiated with the Canadian government on Treaty No. 6 in 1876. (Peter Erasmus himself was a signatory of the treaty.) Peter Erasmus did not build the house but bought it sometime around 1885 when he moved to Victoria to teach school. He lived in the house until 1906 but members of the Erasmus family lived there until 1941, when due to high taxes they left the land and house to the municipality. Peter Erasmus died at the age of 98 in 1931.

Details

Type

Residential

Designation Status

No Historic Recognition

Year Built

1861

Architects

Unknown

Architectural Styles

Log

Character Defining Elements

Gable roof , Horizontal log structure , Half storey , Rectangular footprint

Gallery

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