In 1927 Dr. Woods decided he wanted to build a house that could serve as both a home for his family and a medical office for his practice. He decided on an American Craftsman Style home, as it met both his practical needs and an architectural style that was, at the time, unique to Leduc.
The Craftsman homes were modest homes that incorporated the simple but elegant use of locally handcrafted wood, stone, and glass. Even the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright used the Craftsman Style in developing his Prairie Style homes.
Dr. Woods bought the land for his house from Mr. John Flood, who in turn had purchased the property from the Merchant Bank. The bank had built the first bank in Leduc on the property in 1902, but had moved when the bank merged with the Bank of Montreal. The central location of the property was a key in Dr. Woods’s decision to purchase the property.
A Craftsman home featured a number of unique designs. These included, low-pitched rooflines, deeply overhanging eaves, exposed rafters, a front porch beneath extension of main roof, tapered, square columns supporting roof, and handcrafted stone or woodwork. All of these features can be found in Dr. Woods’s home.
Dr. Woods also wanted to have a garage for his automobile. The garage would later be converted into a separate wing in the 1940’s and today serves as a Tea Room for The Leduc and District Historical Society’s Teas, held throughout the year.
When Dr. Woods died in 1936 Mrs. Woods remarried and sold the house in 1938 to a Mr. McCready. For the next forty-five years four different individuals, including MLA Ronald Earle Ansley, owned the house. In the 1940’s the house was converted to host three different families. This is when the garage was converted to accommodate a family as well as the medical wing and of course the main living section.
In 1982 the City of Leduc took possession of the home and The Leduc and District Historical Society have operated it ever since. In 1993 the house was designated an Alberta Registered Historic Site. In 2008 the home was named an Alberta Municipal Historic Site.
Dr. Woods House Museum remains as an excellent example of a Craftsman Style home of the 1920’s. The Leduc and District Historical Society have done an excellent job of restoring the home to reflect what a small prairie Canadian doctor’s home and medical office would resemble. The Society and its volunteers continue to preserve the home cataloguing, displaying and manage resources. For a donation anyone can enjoy visiting the museum and take a trip back in time when Leduc and District were at the beginning of their existence.
Read us next week as we bring you the story of the man and how he came to be here in Leduc.