What is Heritage?

Heritage is perceived and, as such, is different for everyone. Heritage is based on the relative value that individuals place on different aspects of the past. In our lives, heritage can be embodied by memories, written histories, and/or physical objects, like clothes, tools, and structures.

Heritage is sometimes linked to inheritance of these physical objects and cognitive thoughts. The inheritance of objects and ideas gives living members of a society a vested interest in heritage. This is because heritage gives present-day individuals the opportunity to understand the life styles and life histories of those who lived in the past.


Display of the classic prairie barn.

What is Heritage Barns of Flagstaff?

A barn’s physical structure and the life experiences of those who used the barn inform our curious minds. A generation or two has passed since most Albertans used barns in their daily lives. As such, many Albertans do not understand the terminology, machinery, and structure associated with barns. Opportunities to access this history are being lost as barns get neglected or destroyed out of necessity. Additionally, up until now there has been very little online documentation on Alberta’s barns and those who lived there. As a result of these compounding factors, our society runs the risk of loosing most of this knowledge forever. 

Flagstaff County is home to an abundance of barns that showcase the region’s rich heritage. The barns tell the story of both past and present use and give opportunities for revival and for future use. To make learning about and accessing this heritage easier, Flagstaff County is taking an inventory of the barns present within their municipal district. The project aims to increase understanding and appreciation of rural agricultural histories through the documentation of heritage barns. The information is available to the public on this website so that anyone who wishes can enjoy the barns within the municipal district of Flagstaff County.

If you or anyone you know would like to have their barn documented and become a part of our database, please contact Flagstaff County at 780-384-4100.

To get started, check out the Barn Database.

Additionally, please click on the Architecture menu tab for information on barn roof shapes and features.


“Homesteads and Centers of Activity.” Yesterday and Years Ago. 1st ed. Forestburg: Forestburg and District Historical Book Committee, 1983. Print.