Around Edmonton is a series of posts featuring things to see and do in my hometown of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Every city, and many towns (big and small) probably have one. A historic house where a prominent/important member of the community once lived. Perhaps it was a first mayor, an early settler, a religious affiliate, etc. Whatever the case may be the historic house stands as a way to see how life was “back in the day.”
Located on Saskatchewan Drive, just south of the river valley and in the University of Alberta area, Rutherford House was the home of Alexander Rutherford, Alberta’s first Premier. It was built just over 100 years ago in 1911. I know in some cities, like say Amsterdam, a 101 year old house isn’t that old, but it is for Edmonton. Alexander Rutherford lived in the home until his wife died in 1940. The house was sold to a fraternity at the U of ALberta, and was almost demolished in 1966 to make way for the University’s expansion. Luckily the house was saved and it became a public museum in 1973.
Admission to the Rutherford House is only $4, but I had an admission with the Alberta Historic Attraction pass that I’d bought several months ago. The house isn’t too big and you can easily make your way through in about an hour or less. Rutherford House has a gift shop in the basement, and a restaurant (The Arbour Restaurant and Tea Room). Rutherford House is really beautiful and is often booked for weddings and other events (there was a birthday party going on when we were there). Also rumour has it that Rutherford House might be haunted, but it’s hard to get ghost vibe when visiting on sunny Saturday afternoon in spring.
The only thing I wished was that there was more information in the house. There weren’t any plaques of documents detailing any information about the Rutherford family, the home or Alberta’s history, which was a bit of a shame. Still the house was very nice, and well worth the visit. If you’re in Edmonton the Rutherford House is a nice way to spend an afternoon.
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