New street blades will soon be up on street corners in Highlands, displaying the street number and the street’s original historic name.
The design on the street blades is by Graham Johnson, son of Elwood (Woody) Johnson, who was a founding member of the Highlands Historical Society.
The beautiful blade design features the historic Owen residence. Below is a 1929 photo and article about the Owen residence from The Highlands Edmonton Historic Walking Tour booklet.
The Owen Residence (1912) 11227 – 63 Street
Garnet Meiklejohn, a “Lumberman”, bought this property in 1912. The house became the Dominion Meteorological Service Office in 1914, but Meiklejohn owned it until 1918. The two-story wood frame structure is clad with wood siding and shingles and has a pyramidal roof and wrap-around verandah. Foursquare style houses just like it can be found throughout Edmonton.
Eda Owen came to Edmonton in 1908 with her husband Herbert, a retired sea captain. They moved in when he became meteorologist in 1915. Soon after he left to fight in WWI. Eda took over his duties and when he died in a POW camp in 1917, she became station manager. Her routine began with 5:40 a.m. readings from the 26 instruments in her front room, backyard, and on the roof. Over one hundred weather stations sent daily reports to Eda Owen in Edmonton. In turn she sent two daily and one monthly report to Toronto.
Eda Owen’s career was extraordinary in an era when women – especially married women – were excluded by law from the workforce. Over the years, she developed an international reputation for her work. The weather station attracted visiting academics, explorers and aviators until it ceased operations in 1943 and Eda retired. She died in Calgary in 1957. Eda Owen’s story has been included in various exhibitions and a biography entitled Eda the Weatherlady was written by her granddaughter Phyllis Patterson.
The house was designated a Provincial Historic Resource in 1993.