Diefenbaker House earns National Historical Site designation

John Baird and Randy Hoback tour Diefenbaker House during the summer of 2017. (Jason Kerr/Daily Herald)

Prince Albert is now home to three National Historic Sites.

The federal government announced Friday afternoon that the John and Olive Diefenbaker Museum in Prince Albert, also known as Diefenbaker House, had been designated as a National Historic Site.

Keyhole Castle and the former city hall, now the Arts Centre, also hold the designation.

The city is also home to several federal heritage buildings, including the individual towers and other facilities at Saskatchewan Penitentiary.

Diefenbaker House was one of 17 people, places and events announced as receiving national historical designations Friday.

The city started the process of obtaining the designation in March of 2015, when Lori Wiberg was the city’s arts and culture coordinator, a position now held by Judy MacLeod Campbell.

“We knew (Parks Canada) was evaluating it,” MacLeod Campbell said. “There were touch points along the way, but we hadn’t heard anything for a while. It’s wonderful to receive that recognition and designation for sure.”

Michelle Taylor of the Prince Albert Historical Society was also excited to hear the news.

“I think it’s absolutely wonderful. We’ve been working and waiting for a long time for this to happen,” she said.

“It’s another feather in Prince Albert’s hat to have (three) National Historic Sites in the city.”

Diefenbaker House was built in 1912, and was Diefenbaker’s home from 1947 to 1957. During that time period Diefenbaker became Prince Albert’s MP and became Prime Minister. It was donated to the city in 1975.

For more on this story, please see the Jan. 13 print or e-edition of tthe Daily Herald