Did You Know?

  • Between 1916 and 1963, the Sutherland Forest Nursery Station distributed 147,000,000 trees.
  • Ash, caragana, maple, poplar and willow, were the primary trees grown there.
  • Between 1935 and 1964, approximately 2,500 kms of field shelterbelts were planted on the prairies.
  • Research at the station resulted in the development of the Sutherland caragana, larch and the Sutherland Rosybloom crab.
  • The original shelterbelts marking the boundary of the nursery station are still easily visible.
  • The Forestry Farm Office, built in 1916, was originally a bunkhouse for the station.
  • During the 1930s, on a pleasant weekend, the park would receive up to 3,000 visitors.
  • Governor General Lord Byng and Lady Byng, during his term in office in the 1920s, took tea in the Superintendent's Residence.
  • The house's second superintendent, W. Les Kerr, had a flair for birds and animals which resulted in a collection of wild animals he kept in large cages alongside the farm's south road.
  • "The Man of the Trees", Richard St. Barbe Baker, attended the University of Saskatchewan and worked for a short period of time at the Forest Nursery Station.


Superintendent's Residence (1916)

Quick Facts

1913 - Ground was broken for the Sutherland Forest Nursery Station. 10 years after the opening of the first station at Indian Head.

1914 - The park road system is laid out. The barn, pump house, and packing shed are set in place and working; "The red brick house" receives its first superintendent, James McLean, and his family.

1916 - The station distributes its first ash, poplar and willow seedlings; just three years from its inception.

1931 - The heat is on! The Sutherland Forest Nursery overtakes Indian Head by shipping out approximately 3,500,000 trees to Indian Head's almost 3,000,000.

1935 - In combined efforts with the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration (PFRA), the nurseries become heavily involved in field shelter belt production.

1942 - W. Les Kerr becomes the house's second superintendent.

1951 - The auditorium is opened and becomes a community hall.

1963 - 147,000,000 trees were distributed by the Sutherland Station.

1965 - The site is sold to the City if Saskatoon.

1972 - The Saskatoon Zoo opens on site.

1990 - The Superintendent's Residence is designated as a Municipal Heritage property.

1991 - Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada recognizes the national importance of the site for its contribution to tree planting on the prairies.

1998 - A 10-year lease has been signed by the Friends of the Forestry Farm House and the City of Saskatoon. Landscape, external and internal restorations commence.

2000
- The restored Superintendent's Residence opens to the public.
- The main floor welcomes new tenants, launching the "Hearth and Stone" restaurant and opening its doors and dining room to the public.
- The Friends of the Forestry Farm House debut on the world wide web with the website launch at www.friendsforestryfarmhouse.org.

2001
- The Forestry Farm House restoration project nears completion and moves towards a maintenance program and onto the landscaping phase.
- In January, the completion of the second floor renovations welcomes the Zoo Administration and the Zoo Society to the Superintendent's Residence while their new building undergoes its own construction.
- The main floor changes tenants and the tea room space is leased, the Friends announce the opening of the "Forestry Farm Tea House".
- The Friends of the Forestry Farm House are selected to receive a Vintage Building Award from the Saskatchewan Architectural Heritage Society in the Adaptive Reuse - Community Landmark category.

2002
- The Friends of the Forestry Farm House won the City of Saskatoon Municipal Heritage Advisory Committee (MHAC) Heritage Award in the Adaptive Reuse Category.
- Friends of the Forestry Farm House becomes a member of Tourism Saskatoon/Saskatchewan and is featured on the Tourism Website which connects to over 700 sites throughout North America and Europe.
- A self-guided walking tour and brochure are developed highlighting the heritage plantings and buildings of the Forestry Farm Park with Glenn Gustafson researching and coordinating the project. “A Walking Tour of the former Sutherland Forest Nursery Station” is launched in September.
- Landscaping around the Superintendent's Residence saw the reintroduction of many of the varieties of shrubs that were developed at the Sutherland Forest Nursery Station. Most of the prairie hardy shrubs and trees were developed by Les Kerr during his years as the Superintendent of the Nursery Station.
- Bernie Cruikshank and Margo Rashley attend a symposium funded and organized by Parks Canada in partnership with the Lougheed House Conservation Society in Calgary. The conference "There's No Place Like Home" dealt with issues confronting Canada's Historic Houses.

2003 - With the departure of the main floor tenants, the FFFH take on the task of maintaining the Tea House and welcome the personal and professional skills of manager Jamie Pfiefer and her staff.


Superintendent's Residence (2002)

The Superindendents

The Forestry Farm house was constructed in 1913 as the residence and office for the superintendent of the Sutherland Forest Nursery Station. The Nursery Station had only two superintendents over its 53-year history. The first of these was James McLean, followed by Les Kerr. In 1913, James McLean, moved into the newly constructed residence with his wife Elizabeth and their children. In 1942, McLean retired and was replaced by Kerr, who took up residence with his wife, Blanche.


James McLean


Les Kerr