The house profiled below was built in 1916 by George Hauser at the request of Jack Williams. The family had been living in a log house on a quarter of land one mile west of the property this house currently stands on. Jack Williams also had Jack Croskery move the barn that stood on that quarter to the West to this new homestead; a team of thirty-two horses was required to pull the building across the prairie. Jack and his wife, Marsella, lived here until 1943/44 when they moved to Victoria, British Columbia. The pair had three daughters: Vivian May (Johnston), Mary Katherine (Pope), and Ruth Irene (James).
The house follows a simple prairie school Four Square design. It is two-and-a-half stories with a bellcast hip roof and a triangular dormer. The house has contrasting horizontal trim boards at the foundation between the first and the second level. It also has fishscale and diamond patterned shingles on the western dormer.
In 1963, Stan and Sharleen Chevraux purchased this property from Everett and Marion Chevraux. Stan and Sharleen were young and newly married in 1962; they thought that they would be in debt forever because of their purchase. Everett and Marion had put plumbing and electricity put in the house when they lived there, but, while renovating the house, it was discovered later that pipes had been put in prior to this. Black iron pipes had been installed in the house when it was built but water was never run through them.
Stan and Sharleen had the kitchen widened and renovated a few years after they moved in. The old kitchen was quite small and so the new kitchen took space from and destroyed an old pantry and a dumbwaiter. Before these renovations, the kitchen had a small wood burning stove and later a small electric stove. The new kitchen has wood builtin cabinets and modern appliances. The only other changes Stan and Sharleen made to the original structure inside he house was covering up two doors that used to come off the first parlor of the house towards the east.
When the pair arrived, they sanded the fireplace and wooden trim throughout the living room, which had been painted white by Everett and Marion, to restore it back to its original state. The home has wooden beamed ceilings, wood trim, wainscoting, and builtin cabinetry throughout. The house still has its original boiler for heating the home; the boiler was retrofitted to burn propane in the late 1960s. Before this, coal was hauled from Forestburg, Alberta to heat the house.
As for the outside of the house, when Stan and Sharleen arrived they insulated the house with spray foam insulation; the house never had any insulation before. While this job was being completed, Stan took it upon himself to ensure that enough foam was being used. He drilled a few holes into the side of the house to check that foam had thoroughly coated the inside of the walls. Sharleen jokes that Stan didn’t trust the young guys putting the foam in enough, but the job has held up extremely well as both Stan and Sharleen say that the home is very warm in winter. In the 1990s Stan and Sharleen had a modern sun room added to the northern side of the house, off of the original covered veranda on the western side of the house. They have shingled the house three times since the beginning of their stay; that job has always been completed by the same roofer. They painted the house once and have never strayed from its original colours.
Stan and Sharleen believe that the biggest reason their 1918 abode has fared so well is because it has never sat vacant. They feel incredibly lucky to live in a home with so much character and life.
Chevraux, Stanley and Sharleen. Personal communication. 7 Aug. 2018.
52.775302, -111.937787 SW 11-44-14 W4
House Condition: Good
Construction Date: 1918
Features: No names or dates
Roof Shape: Bellcast hip roof with triangular roof dormer
Decorations: Fishscale and diamond patterned shingles on dormer, wooden column with brick pedestal outside covered veranda.
Roof Covering: Asphalt shingles
Siding: Wooden clapboard with contrasting corner boards,
Additional History on the Property
Stanley and Sharleen Chevraux Family History
Chevraux, Sharleen. “Stanley and Sharleen Chevraux Family” Pleasant Country: Killam and District 1903-1993. 1st ed. Killam: Killam Historical Society, 1993. Print.
J.J. (Jack) and Marsella Williams Family History
James, Debbie L. “J.J. (Jack) and Marsella Williams Family” Pleasant Country: Killam and District 1903-1993. 1st ed. Killam: Killam Historical Society, 1993. Print.