Keillor Stone House



Historic Keillor Cabin, Stone House and Summer Kitchen, 12504 Fox Drive, Edmonton Alberta

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In 2021, the City of Edmonton began the Condition Analysis and Conservation Plan in anticipation of restoration of the Stone House and the Summer Kitchen. The Keillor Cabin, the third component of the Keillor compound had been previously restored.  

Description of Historic Place

The Keillor Farmstead is a cultural landscape consisting of a small collection of historic buildings, including a large log cabin with stone veranda (Keillor Cabin, built ca. 1918), a fieldstone residence (the Stone House, built ca. 1929) and a fieldstone summer kitchen (the Summer Kitchen, built ca. 1929). The buildings are in a landscaped area of the Whitemud  Equine  Learning  Centre  Association (WELCA) with numerous historic trees and plantings, and are enclosed by a stone and metal rail fence. The Keillor Family Farmstead is located in Edmonton and occupies a portion of a large leased lot, currently the site of WELCA.

Heritage Value

The Stone House and Summer Kitchen are valued for their association with the development of the original Keillor Farmstead in the North Saskatchewan River Valley. Dr. Keillor bought a large parcel of land along the south bank of the North Saskatchewan River in 1918 to establish a farm.

Dr. Keillor was a believer of the therapeutic benefits of outdoor recreation, and had a larger vision for the use of his property for the citizens of Edmonton. He opened the property for use as a recreation area, notably for horseback riding, cross-country skiing, hiking and canoeing. He also had hopes of establishing a home for the elderly, where residents could benefit from natural surroundings.

The Stone House and Summer Kitchen are also valued for their architectural style. Logs were often used for residential construction in early Alberta’s settlement period. By the 1920s, rustic architecture that blended harmoniously with the landscape was demanded by the public, and soon became entrenched as the mandated architectural style for the American National Parks Service, Canada’s Parks Branch, and was also frequently used in provincial and municipal parks. The Keillor buildings, including the Stone House and Summer Kitchen, are all made of primarily natural materials and they exhibit an exceptional degree of craftsmanship.

The Stone House and the Summer Kitchen are further valued for their direct associations with Dr. Fred Keillor. Born in Ontario in 1883, Keillor moved to Edmonton in 1912 and established a medical practice. After serving with the army in the First World War, Keillor returned to Edmonton, and in 1918, purchased a large piece of property on the south bank of the North Saskatchewan River to establish a farm. In 1928, Keillor donated a portion of his property to the City, and requested that a road be built to provide better access to his farm and Whitemud Park. The buildings Keillor constructed on the site were not intended directly for public use, but were highly visible to those visiting the site.

Keillor was the city’s coroner, and also served two terms as a City Alderman from 1926 – 1927, and 1929 – 1932. Over time, the farm was expropriated by the City, first to build Fox Drive, and then completely by 1967, for a park (which in time became used by the Whitemud Equine Centre). Keillor passed away in 1971. Keillor Road was closed to vehicle traffic in 1995, and became used as a bicycle and walking trail. Remnant portions of a large retaining wall for Keillor Road in the Belgravia community had been in use as an informal viewing area (known locally as the “End of the World”) for the river valley for many years after the closure of the roadway.

Consultants for the Project

Client: City of Edmonton

Heritage Consultant: David Murray Architect

Prime Consultant: Spectacle Bureau for Architecture and Urbanism