Cronquist House is a stately red brick Victorian house with a wrap-around porch, a distinctive turret and a gorgeous view of Bower Ponds. Emmanuel Cronquist, a Swedish immigrant and farmer, originally built the 8-bedroom, 3500 sq ft farmhouse as a family home in 1911 and over the past 100 years it has become a local icon.
Now run by the Red Deer Cultural Heritage Society, this historic house was moved here in March of 1976 (over the ice at the Red Deer River Crossing) and renovated over the next two decades into a cozy 1920s style tea house and multicultural centre.
Lunch at the house
Come for tea or a light lunch in a charming Victorian room overlooking the pond. Tuesday to Friday from 11 to 2, enjoy a delightful lunch of delicious quiche, sandwiches and homemade soup. Or dig out your flowery hat and short gloves for a traditional tea from 2 – 4 that includes scones, fruit, Devonshire cream and jam. The prices are very reasonable and you won’t find a charming experience like it anywhere else in town. We recommend making reservations by calling 403.346.0055.
Be sure to ask about their doll collection – there were 800 at last count!
Red Deer’s multicultural resource centre
In addition to the tea room, the house operates as a multicultural resource centre with arts and crafts, cultural displays, an ethnic library and occasional workshops. You can also book this special venue for conferences, meetings, weddings and many other kinds of special occasions.
Celebrate Canada Day
The Cultural Heritage Society that runs Cronquist House also uses this lovely site by Bower Ponds to host Red Deer’s big Canada Day festivities each year. Celebrating the city’s many multicultural communities, the event features ethnic musicians, dancers and storytellers, face painting for the kids, lots of yummy food and a jaw-dropping fireworks display at the end of the day.
Spend the afternoon on Bower Ponds
After lunch, take a quiet walk through the park’s new serenity garden, let the kids play in the renovated playground and admire the public art. The pavilion has a concession, a floating stage and paddle boat, kayak and canoe rentals throughout the summer – so you can get out on the pond and up close to those cute little duckies.
(Red Deer Cultural Heritage Society; 403.346.0055)