‘Happy’ Norman House is a one-and-a-half storey wood framed house built in 1934 located on a large wooded lot on the west side of Baker Drive in West Quesnel, BC. The historic place includes the building and the parcel of land it occupies.
‘Happy’ Norman House is located in West Quesnel which developed as a rural community with small houses and family farms. The growth of West Quesnel was moderate until a single-lane bridge across the Fraser River was constructed in 1929. The bridge provided a permanent link between the two Quesnel communities. These communities were amalgamated into one city in 1958. In 1971, the two-lane Moffat Bridge was built and growth in West Quesnel increased steadily. While not in its original form, the house is a physical reminder of the people who shaped the development of Quesnel.
The house is named for Edward Norman. He was born in the Northwest Territories and arrived in Quesnel with his foster parents in 1871. Edward was commonly known in Quesnel as ‘Happy’. He was a round man full of life and well-known for his tales of past events and people in Quesnel. Happy served in the armed forces during WWI. He was involved in the mining industry and prospected in Alaska and the Yukon. Edward liked to farm this property which is ideally situated on the flats along Baker Creek. Happy and his wife Margaret were one of the pioneering farming families who made West Quesnel their home. The Norman family is recognized for their contribution to the development of the community with a street named in their honour.
The character-defining elements of ‘Happy’ Norman House include:
- a good example of a well-maintained one-and-a-half storey wood framed 1930s house;
- the original form is still evident today even though a half-storey on the north side of the house was added in 1967;
- wood shingle exterior;
- steeply pitched gable roof on the south side of the house with the original pitch seen in the gable ends;
- the half-storey addition is a large dormer with three small windows;
- bracketed eaves;
- covered veranda with post and beam supports;
- small windows on all sides.