Eaton’s was just one of several companies active in selling houses through mail order in the 1910s and 1920s.
The Eaton’s catalogue was the shopping mall for farm families in the early 1900s, the settlement period of the Canadian prairies. Coveralls for dad, a new dress for mom, and a special Christmas present for the kids and, from 1910 to 1932, the house itself.
The house portion of Eaton’s merchandise was a Western Canadian phenomenon only. Houses were advertised only in the Winnipeg catalogue and in special plan books. The advertisements showed Douglas Fir trees, seven feet in diameter and 200 feet to the first limb. The lumber was without knots and came from trees that would not be cut today.
The catalogue advertised free plan books that gave complete details about the houses: an artist’s sketch, floor plan, and information on lumber, doors, windows, flooring, and hardware. Once the customer selected a house, the blueprints were purchased from the plan book, materials were ordered and shipped by rail. To fill a boxcar you had to order a big house. Many bought a house and a barn, or neighbours went together and ordered two houses.
We are currently raising funds to move one of these houses to the museum grounds and restore it
Donations of cash, artifacts, supplies, photographs, and printed materials are welcome and will be recognized by a tax receipt.
Sponsorships of restoration projects are also encouraged. If you are interested in getting involved in a project please contact us for more information!
Interested in becoming a member? The Great Canadian Plains Railway Society is always interested in welcoming new members. Every GCPRS member is encouraged to participate in the activities of the Society, including the operation of the Galt Historic Railway Park. If you’d like more information, please contact us!
Galt Membership Application Download PDF
Galt Grant Endowment Donor Form Download PDF
Galt Artifact Donation Form Download Donation Form