F.E. Algar General Store - Ponoka, Alberta
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member ScroogieII
N 52° 40.605 W 113° 34.552
12U E 325859 N 5839426
Quick Description: After losing two buildings to fire, F.E. Algar constructed his third building in 1914 this one of brick. Obviously a good decision this building still saands.
Location: Alberta, Canada
Date Posted: 6/24/2020 1:40:24 PM
Waymark Code: WM12P2H
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member bluesnote
Views: 1

Long Description:
While enroute to Edmonton a young and ambitious Frederic Algar arrived at the Ponoka townsite in 1895, building a log cabin that year which served the fledgling community as trading post, general store and post office for several years. That building was located at the corner of Railway Street and 51 Avenue, the site of the present building. When this building burned in 1902 Algar replaced it with a two-storey wood building clad in metal siding. Twelve years later this building burned as well, following which Algar built his third and last store, the present brick structure, in 1914. Today it is one of the oldest surviving buildings in the community.

Designated an Alberta historic resource on July 14, 1998, the F.E. Algar Building features two "storefronts" with large display windows and metal cornices, one on 50th Street and a second one at the rear, on 51st Avenue. The interior features high tin ceilings and a little office, once known to employees as the “eagle’s nest”, overlooking the interior. Behind it is a vault where valuable muskrat furs were stored. In 1944, after 49 years of business, Algar sold the building to Abe Aboussafy of Wetaskiwin who operated it for a decade thereafter. Then owned by Elmer and Esther Prediger, the building was restored in 1996-97 as part of the the Ponoka Main Street Programme.

The plaque mounted on the building's front and the Alberta Register differ somewhat in their accounts of where Algar's first store was located.

Text from the plaque:
F.E. Algar Building

Frederic Algar established Ponoka’s first store in 1895 in the railway depot to provide supplies to settlers. His thriving business soon moved to a nearby log building at the corner of Railway Street and 51 Avenue. When fire destroyed this building in 1902, Algar again expanded into a two-story store he built on the site of the present structure. This building also burned in 1914 and was replaced the same year with the present brick structure. The Algar Building features two distinct storefronts with large traditional display windows and a spacious interior with original “tin” ceilings. At the rear of the store is a little office overlooking the interior, once known to employees as the “eagles nest,” with an old vault where valuable muskrat furs were stored.
F.E. Algar General Store

Despite being located along the Calgary and Edmonton (C & E) Railway, Ponoka did not initially enjoy the same vigorous growth as the neighbouring communities of Lacombe, Red Deer, Wetaskiwin, Olds and Innisfail. Around the turn of the century, Ponoka evolved into an agricultural service centre and was later chosen by the provincial government as the site of the Alberta Hospital.

Fredrick Edgar Algar was en route to Edmonton when he decided to settle in the area and began construction of a log cabin 1895 that he used as a trade post, general store, post office and residence. The first building was destroyed by fire in 1902. Algar replaced it with a wood frame store where he operated his general merchandising business until a major fire in 1913 destroyed the building and several others in town.

The present Algar Building was constructed from 1914 to 1915. Located on Main Street, it is one of the oldest surviving buildings in the community. It boasts a brick exterior (materials made in Red Deer), a metal ceiling and a presses tin facade and has been used for commercial purposes since its construction. Algar continued to operate his business with the help of his son until 1944. By then Algar lived in Edmonton, and with his son serving in Europe, he opted to sell the business.

The Algar family has long been prominent in the Ponoka area. Frederick's father, Charles, built the first house in town and Frederick was a leading businessman in the area. Frederick was elected to the town's first council in 1904, and the family was involved in many community projects.
From the Alberta Register of Historic Places
Photo goes Here
Official Heritage Registry: [Web Link]

5020 50 Street
Ponoka, AB
T4J 1S3

Heritage Registry Page Number: Not listed

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