John Walter, a Scot from the Orkney Islands in the far north of Scotland, arrived in the Edmonton area in 1870. Mr. Walter was a boat builder employed by the Hudson’s Bay Company to build York boats, an inland freight-carrying boat for shipping fur. In 1875, he built this house on the south side of the North Saskatchewan River. It was the first house to be built south of the river. The house was his residence, his workshop, the telegraph station and a general store.
Today, it remains the oldest house in Edmonton.