HOW CAN I OBTAIN A HERITAGE PLAQUE FOR MY BUILDING?
In collaboration with the City of Edmonton, the Heritage Plaque Program has been a highly successful initiative of the Highlands Historical Society since 2009.
> Download our Heritage Plaque Program information sheet: http://www.edmontonhighlands.ca/HHS_decorative_plaques.pdf
> Please contact the Highlands Historical Society at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information and assistance.
STEPS TO RESEARCH YOUR HOME
1) Local Lore
Investigate local lore about your house or the previous occupants. This is a great way to get to know your neighbours and to also find some unique facts about the previous occupants or the building itself.
2) Henderson’s Directory
Conduct a search of the previous occupants of your home by checking the Henderson’s Directory. These Directories document not only the date of the home, but the occupant of your home, and their occupation – all based on your address. There are two ways to do this:
The first option is to go online and do searches with the digitized catalogue at: http://peel.library.ualberta.ca/bibliography/2962.html. Often, depending on the build date, the Henderson’s census was completed sometime after the house was built. Start with the volume one or two years later than you believe your house to be built and look for your address. Then, work backwards to your date and earlier if possible — some folks have found that their home was much older than they thought. Use your street address as the search term (if you live at 12345 – 63 Street, you would use 12345 as the search term). Once you find the address, the name of the occupant will be listed next to it. Using the same search term (e.g. 12345 ), find the appropriate page near the back of the volume and search by name for that person. You will find that person’s occupation, including company, with a verification of the home address. Only volumes 1908 to 1953 have been digitized; you’ll likely have to go to the second option below if your home is older than 1953.
The second option is to go to the Stanley Milner Library downtown and find the print copies of the Henderson’s Directories. They are housed in one of the climate controlled rooms with the other old books upstairs. Edmonton has a complete set from about 1908 until 1987 when newer privacy legislation was introduced. Search all the way to 1987 — it can be a little time consuming — but it is quite fun and you’ll never know what you’ll turn up!
3) Land Titles Search
To verify the year your home was built, you will need to do a Land Titles Search. There are two ways to do this:
The first option is to go online to do a Land Titles Search at: http://www.servicealberta.ca/588.cfm. Only the last two land titles are listed for purchase. So, it is likely best to still pay for a search at the Brownlee Building in the second option.
The second option is to go to Edmonton’s Land Title Office and have title search performed on your property. The Land Titles Office is located in the John E. Brownlee Building at 10365 – 97th Street. The phone number there is: (780) 422-4290. The office is hidden in a corner behind the main area. So, don’t get into a big line-up in the main area. You’ll need the lot number, etc., which is usually associated with your real property report when you buy your house. Expect to pay $10.00 – $30.00 for photocopying.
4) City Archives
Go to the City of Edmonton Archives (located in the Prince of Wales Armoury downtown) and do a microfiche search to find the building permit for your home. This may also help you to discover the architect of the building and how much it cost to build. While there, you can also conduct photo and document searches. Plus, you can check out the fire insurance maps to see what your house was made of at that time. Bring some money for photocopying and take full advantage of the archivists on staff who are a wealth of knowledge!
5) Provincial Archives
The Provincial Archives of Alberta (located on the south side on Roper Road) may also be a source of information — particularly if someone associated with your home served in public office, etc.