Bad Heart Straw Church

How do you build a church in a remote area on a tight budget?  Use straw as a primary building material: it’s cheap, breathable, and provides excellent insulation.  Also, it turns out to be quite long lasting.

In 1954 Father Francis Dales and his congregation built the Immaculate Heart Church in the Bad Heart community.  Construction was completed in six weeks and the rye straw church came in $50 under budget.  The walls were 20 inches thick, reinforced with steel traps.  The inside was plastered; the outside covered in stucco.  Father Dales was pleased to show doubters that straw bales could make a strong structure.  He noted that the rye straw’s oil content would act as a preservative.

It worked: the Bad Heart straw church is now the only historic straw building in Canada and has been designated a Provincial Historic Resource.

There’s an article about the famous straw church here (with pictures).

The Peace Country is full of unexpected gems.  Got one to share?  Email townspirit@hotmail.com with posts or suggestions for posts.  Your input is always welcome 🙂

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This entry was posted in history, Places to go, Things to do and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Bad Heart Straw Church

  1. Wow! The pews in that church came from the Catholic Church in Sexsmith! I remember visiting Sexsmith as a child, swinging on the school playground swings. If I’d know this then, I would have gone to peek at the church pews and told them their destiny. Thanks for another interesting post.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I got several pails of fat saskatoons there one year. There’s a picnic table, or there was, and its a nice quiet place to stop.

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