Saskatchewan

Can Saskatoon's oldest building be saved?

One could be forgiven for overlooking the oldest building in Saskatoon – it's a weather-beaten shed in the city's Nutana district.

One could be forgiven for overlooking the oldest building in Saskatoon – it's a weather-beaten shed in the city's Nutana district.

But it's also one of the city's most historic buildings.

More that a century ago,Trounce House was the hub of the temperance colony's social scene and now heritage preservationists want to save the 120-year-old structure.

According to Kathlyn Szalasznyj, who researches heritage buildings for the city, the house was built from the first shipment of lumber to the area, then was purchased by temperance colonists Harry and Bessie Trounce in 1884.

"This house was the setting of many a New Year's party, a Christmas gathering, a sing-song 'cause all the Trounces were very musical," Szalasznj said.

Harry also ran the colony's first permanent store from the house.

While by today's standards it's hard to imagine all that activity in a tiny wood-frame home with three rooms and a loft, Szalasznyj calls it an important link with Saskatoon's past.

"We need to be able to look at that and say that is where a family with several children lived, that history touched in some direct way," she said.

In 1920, the house was moved to the back of the lot and converted into a garage.

Now, in Saskatoon's centennial year, a heritage committee wants to restore the building and preserve it while there is still a chance.

now