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Heritage homestead set for opening

Allen Homestead a glimpse into the changing lives of early Peace region homesteaders
Allen House at the Fort St. John North Peace Museum.

A newly restored pioneer homestead from Baldonnel will be unveiled to the public this weekend.

A grand opening and tour of the Allen House will take place at the Fort St. John North Peace Museum on Saturday, Oct. 1 at 1 p.m.

Built throughout the 1920s by Bartlett Allen, the two-storey log house is a glimpse into the changing lives of early Peace region homesteaders.

The two-bedroom house, complete with a kitchen and parlour, replaced a smaller one-room log cabin originally built on the land. Allen, with his wife Winnifred and children Ruth and Floyd, raised horses, cows, pigs, and chickens, while growing grain, potatoes, and other crops.

Originally from Michigan, Allen acquired and registered the homestead in 1915. He would later fight in the First World War and applied for Canadian citizenship, returning to Baldonnel in 1920 with a soldier’s grant of a second quarter section. He bought a third section, and began building the log home in 1921.

The home is unique in that it features Jack Pine shingles from Red Powell’s old sawmill in Charlie Lake, and also features built-in dressers and drawers, and cabinetry.

Allen’s daughter Ruth donated the homestead to the museum in February 2015. It was moved to the museum in December 2016, with volunteers restoring the building over the last several years.

Saturday’s grand opening will include a ribbon cutting, speeches, and tours of the home for residents to learn more about the restoration process — as well as some of the unusual features of the house, such as its newsprint insulation.

IN PICTURES: Moving the Allen Homestead

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