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106-year-old Beaumont house finds new address in town

A historic house in Beaumont has a new address — and will soon become a museum — after being moved several blocks through town to a new location on Friday.

The St. Jacques Heritage House was painstakingly moved about a kilometre through town

The house took about an hour and a half to move to its new location in Beaumont, Alta. (CBC)

A historic house in Beaumont, Alta., has a new address — and will soon become a museum — after being moved several blocks through town to a new location on Friday.

The 106-year-old St. Jacques Heritage House was painstakingly moved about a kilometre through town, in an effort to preserve the house for generations to come.

Built on a farm in 1912, the house was located east of St. Vital Church before being moved to Beacon Park on Friday. The Beaumont and District Heritage Society had first proposed moving the house seven years ago. The move was approved by council earlier this year.

The society raised over $130,000 in donations to make the move possible.

Engineer Harry Zuzak said the house was structurally sound, despite its age. (CBC)

'It's a great feeling'

Engineer and society board member Harry Zuzak said it took about an hour and a half to move the house by truck. A route with no interference and no parked cars was chosen to keep the process seamless.

"It's a great feeling to wind up preserving something that's worth preserving," he said.

Engineers had to do a structural analysis of the house first to ensure it could be moved. Zuzak said some of the base plates holding up the frame of the house were deteriorating, but otherwise, it was in "remarkably" good condition.

"You always worry about what's its condition, structurally," he said. "Can it be moved without falling apart? Surprisingly, it was well put together, even in those days. So it has weathered well, I think it's a beautiful house."

The house needs some work and the society will establish a garden before it will be opened to the public as a museum. This will take about a year to do, the society said.

Residents watch as the house makes its journey through town. (CBC)

Alexander Grandin, 13, watched as the historic home was slowly driven down the street. He said he was impressed at how crews managed to navigate past newer homes to bring it to its new address.

"I went up with my mom to the corner and watched it drive along. It was moving ridiculously slowly," he said.

He says he's looking forward to seeing the home reopen as a museum that showcases the history of the town and its community. 

"It will be very important."

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