Toppe-Baker-Lewis

History

This property was homesteaded by Nels Toppe in 1906. He farmed and lived here until 1946 when he went back home to visit his native Norway. Nels got ill while there and recovered enough to come back to Alberta; however, he passed away not long after. Nels had the barn built but it is unclear if he hired any help to complete the job.

In 1946, James A. Baker purchased the property after he returned home from the war. James had been overseas with the army from 1941 to 1946. He married Alene Gosnell in November 1947 and the two lived on this property until 1960. In 1962, James’ parents moved here and this was where Mrs. Baker resided until she got ill.

Randy Lewis now owns the property and farms the surrounding land. This barn was built using frame construction and balloon framing. The eastern shed of the barn was created as a workshop. This shed must have been an addition because the shiplap siding is not continuous with the rest of the barn. The western shed has three milking stalls and a penned area. The center of the barn does not have a loft and would have been used for storage of feed. The barn was built using frame construction and balloon framing.

Lewis, Daniel. Personal communication. 13 Jul. 2017.

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This frame shows the southern face of the barn.

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This frame shows the southern face and eastern side of the barn.

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This frame shows the eastern side of the barn’s roof.

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This frame shows the northern face of the barn.

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This frame shows the northern face and western side of the barn.

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This frame shows the western side and southern face of the barn.

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This frame is of the inside of the northern face of the barn.

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The doorway in the center-right of this frame passes into the eastern shed of the barn.

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It is unknown whether this barn ever had a loft. If it did, it was removed long ago. The feed would have been tossed through the wooden flaps in the center of this frame to the mangers on the other side.

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This is a close-up of the flaps used to toss feed into the mangers on the other side.

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This frame shows the stalls in the western shed of the barn. Notice the wooden stanchions.

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This frame shows the work bench in the eastern shed of the barn.

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There is a hexagonal grain bin to the North of the barn.

Location

52.626887, -111.751645                                        SW 24-42-13 W4

Characteristics

Barn Condition: Fair

Construction Date: 1925

Features: None

Roof Shape: Bonnet

Paint: None

Decorations: No names or dates

Roof Covering: Cedar shingles

Siding: Wooden shiplap

Foundation: Concrete

Additional History on the Property

This homestead map shows many original settlers in the surrounding area. Some of their barns still stand and some of those are featured in this database.

Homestead Map - Merna - As the Wheel Turns

“Homestead Map.” As the Wheel Turns: A History of Merna and District. 1st ed.                                 Sedgewick: The Community Press, 1971. Print.

Nels Topy

“Nels Toppe”. As the Wheel Turns: A History of Merna and District. 1st ed. Sedgewick:                     The Community Press, 1971. Print.

Baker Family

“Mr. and Mrs. Alan A. Baker and family”. As the Wheel Turns: A History of Merna and                     District. 1st ed. Sedgewick: The Community Press, 1971. Print.

“James A. Baker”. Sedgewick Sentinel: A History of Sedgewick and Surrounding                                    Districts. 1st Ed. Sedgewick: Sedgewick Historical Society, 1982. Print

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