Among the homes on 11th Street East in Saskatoon, a one-and-a-half storey, green-and-white, wood-framed house has stood the test of time.
The Marr Residence is the oldest house in Saskatoon to still be in its original location.
On Sunday, the Marr Residence received its national historic site plaque, although the site officially received the national designation one year ago.
The house was built in 1884.
Alexander “Sandy” Marr and his wife, Margaret, acquired land from the Temperance Colonization Society, an Anglo-Canadian utopian group.
“During the Northwest Resistance in 1885, it was one of three houses that were commandeered to be used as field hospitals for the Battle of Batoche,” Jeff O’Brien, the City of Saskatoon’s archivist, said.
“It was chosen because of its proximity to the river and the ease of getting wounded from the Northcote, which brought wounded down from Duck Lake and Fish Creek to Saskatoon,” Della Greer, the Marr Residence board chair, said.
As it served as a field hospital, the Marr Residence would be the first place in Canadian history where nurses would be employed by military forces.
“It has an immense role to play in the story of heritage preservation in Saskatoon. The idea that built heritage, the buildings that are around us, are things we need to hold on to,” O’Brien said.
Marr descendants attended Sunday’s plaque unveiling, including Alexander and Margaret Marr’s great-great grandson, Jason Everitt.
“It’s a sense of pride. In not only what the family was able to accomplish, but what settlers themselves were able to accomplish,” Everitt said.
“The Marr Residence has always been recognized as being important to the story of Saskatoon. Now, as of today, it’s being recognized as nationally significant to the story of Canada,” Scott Whiting, the external relations manager for Parks Canada, said.
Organizers estimate the Marr Residence joins around six other national historic sites in Saskatoon.
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