This school in the RM of Prairie Lakes  opened its doors in 1982 and closed permanently in June of 1972.


This is what the building looks like now in 2018.


The school is nestled on a little hill in the middle of a farmer’s field.  If your looking far and wide and in the right area, you will see it.


Miss A.L. MacLachlan was the first teacher at this school was paid $35.00 a month for her term position.  She was given 5 months training to become a teacher.


History surrounding the story of this school tells that the schools first concert was a huge success and in fact, so many people attended the concert that there was no room inside the building and parents and town people watched the concert through the windows from their horse carriages up against the side of the building.


Due to a drop in students registered at the school, the school closed for a period of time from Fall of 1939 to 1943.

The school held district social events, dances, card parties and concerts.

Unfortunately we were denied permission to enter this property so road shots it is.  I’m sure I’ll be back as the backdrop is spectacular.


I am told that this old home, built of concrete and standing up to the elements was built with local sand & gravel, then mixed to make concrete and poured by hand.  Here is a photo of the house taken in 1882.


This huge home, I am told, was the home of a large family whom had their help live inside with them.  The family came from Ontario and Mr. moved to this property in February, 1882 and started to build the home.  In August of that year Mrs. and 3 of their children joined him.  The boys took over the farm after their parents died in 1920 and 1926.  The farm was then sold to another family that still remains in the area.


The inside tells a very different story of its ability to hold its own against the harsh elements of the prairies.  The roof is gone, the walls are coming down and the floor doesn’t exist in some places.  Really, anything that is wood is gone.  There was no evidence of the once wrap around porch.


The best picture I could get of the home was from the back.  The one side is almost completely treed in, so much so that the trees are growing through the windows.  The front was no different.


There were a lot of outbuildings and spectacular prairie views where ever you looked.  On this particular day a storm was brewing in the area and off in the distance, Reg and I could hear the thunder.  It was hot too!


I wish I had found this yard years ago.  I wonder if there would have been more there than what is now.


Most abandoned seekers will tell you about there dislike for caragana’s.  They will literally take over and provide a shield around an old abandoned home.


Over the years, a couple of families have resided on this property but I cannot confirm from the history books who built this home.  I did manage to find this photograph that was taken in 1892.


This is what the home looks like now.  I can’t tell you enough how much I hate hydro poles!


With the exception of one wall, this house is strong and stable.  I admired it from the outside for quite some time.  I can tell you that the inside of the home did not disappoint either.


The details inside the home showed the pride the owners had in this home with fine little detailing on the cupboards and in the bathroom.  It was lived in for quite some time.


I can only assume from my research that the family that once owned this land immigrated to Canada in the later 1800’s and remained in the area for some time.  Many of their ancestors are buried in the local cemetery.  They were very involved in their community and were very successful in their farming endeavors.  Some of the family endured tremendous loss, losing two sons at very young ages and a wife who became a widow very young as well.  The endured and her sons took over her farm and she lived some time.

I wish I knew more.


One morning Reg was given permission to enter this property and because neither one of us had anything planned, we went.


The family originally came from Gloucester County, England in 1901 and farmed on different land in the same RM.

In the winter of 1909 the one time land owner and his love traveled to Belfast, returning to Canada in the Spring, married.  They had 4 children, the oldest which passed away at the age of nine.

In 1919 Mr. bought a Model T car.  When I came home and read this, I was thrilled to find this connection.


We found many treasures out and about on the property.

It appears that this at one time was the homestead at one point and then was later converted to a barn of some sort.  To the left of the house was a concrete foundation with no house which I am assuming was moved to another location.


I found this old cart which I absolutely loved and took many, many photos of.  I can envision same in my flower bed in my back yard.


We also found two wells on this property.  One between the two houses which didn’t appear to be very deep and was set up higher.  In the “Dry Thirties” this family sought out land that had water and eventually rented land in another location because of the good water supply there as they had been hauling it from another location.


The two brothers farmed together until 1942 when the youngest joined the R.C.A.F returning to farm in 1946.  At that time, through the Veteran’s Land Act, he purchased this property.  His brother had land nearby and they worked together, again.  The boys mother lived with them until 1955 when she passed at the age of 73.

The land owner was a trustee for the RM, was the council representative for the local library and attended meetings for library meeting at the request of the Provincial Librarian.  He was also on the Executive for our local Royal Canadian Legion Branch.



I don’t know much more about this land except that it was farmed by two bachelors and is now rented out to another local farmer.


I love this photograph for its simplicity, I think.



As per my previous visit, this homestead is also part of the same family, except they were brothers and ventured off in the same countryside farming different sections of land.


In 1899 the parents of this family came to Manitoba to farm this particular section of land.  Their son followed in 1892 by railway cattle car, caring for the stock he was bringing with him.

The stunning home was built in 1901 with the help of his brothers using “native stone”.  They used a kiln which was erected on the property.


He married in 1902 and him and his wife raised 5 children in this home.


The property still has  much of the old farming equipment there, some of it in excellent condition and well cared for over the years.


The yard and home are immaculately kept as the family still farms the land and spends much time here.  In fact, many of them were there the day we came, farming.  It was nice to hear the stories and get the history.


I enjoyed my visit to this farm and thanked the current owner who granted us permission the night before for his time and his history lesson.


I found this house a while back while cruising the back roads with my family.  I stopped for a  side of the shot and the intentions to get home and find the land owner.



This farm has been in the family for many, many years.  This family originated in 1824 after an 11 week voyage from Scotland.  In 1890 they decided to head to Manitoba.

A family of five was raised in this home and they farmed this quarter section and a half section across the road.  The only son of this family still owns and farms this land.

The home is starting to show its age and had significant damage in the kitchen area from the top floor.  There was also a soft spot in the kitchen which we avoided on the way out.


Here is the view out of one of their living room windows.  It was very smoky the day Reg and I went out shooting so a lot of our pictures that day weren’t optimal.


Each room had a different wallpaper.  Leading up the stairs the wood was lined with newspaper which I am assuming was used as insulation.  Reg made his way upstairs which was not the most stable second floor that we have entered.  He ventured up alone but knowing Reg he got some amazing photos out of those upstairs windows.


Many of the homes we’ve entered in the last month have had shoes inside.  Some have also still had the old rotary telephone.  For some reason I love this.


I really enjoyed this home.  It is a popular spot for other abandoned seekers in the area who do a lot of night shooting.  I knew they were there by the little battery operated lights scattered throughout the main floor of the house.


On our way out of this house I had a squishy step.  I stepped back to see that I had stepped on a 2×4, although thinking back I don’t think it was that wide, which was suspended over a hole.  Reg ventured over to see what the hole was about but didn’t offer me much feedback.  What I don’t know can’t hurt me right?  Regardless, I was skitish for the rest of the day.




This school is on private property and permission was granted for us to enter.


The school opened in 1887 and operated until January, 1968.


Richview School is the only original school built and still standing in the area.  When school started it was agreed upon that classes would run in the Fall, Spring and Summer as the winters were to cold and the school would need to be heated.  It was later agreed upon that the older children were needed at home during the summer and they decided to run school through winter.  The first student to arrive at the school in the AM was paid to light a fire.  The student was paid $0.05 per morning.


In 1939 this addition was made to the school to make more room for social activities.

In 1941 hydro was installed and in 1949 the basement was enlarged to hold a coal furnace.  In 1951 the Insul-Brick was added to help insulate the school.


The school bell was donated to the local museum and other items were donated to the new school including the fire extinguisher, text books, radio and a chemistry set.



The Brown Lea School District was established in August 1886 and the first classes were held in 1887. The original building was replaced by a wood frame structure built in 1902 by contractor A. King. The school closed in January 1967 but a vacant building remains on private property.


Over the years there were 59 teachers and 220 pupils that attended the school.


Teachers at the school were paid an average of $35.00 per month.


The land for the school was purchased $5.00 and the school cost approximately $400 to build.


This second school house was built in 1902.


In 1919 the Bertha and Riverbank school districts united to build a church as a memorial for 4 men, Jack Fisher, Harry Hardwick, Harry Martin and Cecil Minary who gave their lives in the First World War.


Berbank Church served as a place of worship and creation until it closed in 1966.


The people of Berbank dedicated the plaque in front of the church to local pioneers and those who served in the First World War, Second World War, Korean War and Peacekeeping.


This church was also used in the movie, In the Moment starring Russell Crowe. The crew agreed to pay for the re-siding and shingling of the one side of the building they were going to use for the movie and the other half was paid for by the community.


Remember a while back when Reg, Colton and I found the “dead” birds in the upstairs of the abandoned house?


Well the last couple weeks there has been a lot of activity on the roof of the old house so today we were lucky enough to get a couple shots.


I don’t know if these are two of the young or Mom and one young but regardless we moved very slowly and ventured closer and closer until they finally figured we were to close and flew away.


Well, only one flew away.


Really neat to see them all grown up.  Hard to believe they were once tiny little fluff balls.


Wandering around Prairie Lakes I turned down a road to what I thought was a roof.  There was nothing but a little further down I came to a clearing and found this barn with the sun slowly setting.   How peaceful.



When your stuck in a rink for a day what does one do?  You find something to take photos of during the down time.


Crescent Park in Portage la Prairie has a lovely little park with lots of ducks and flowers.



I know nothing about this house.  I know that fellow abandoned seekers have been to this location and have done some night shooting.


My shooting partner advises me that years ago a tornado came through this area and there’s a very good chance that this one may have been moved off its foundation.


If I do happen to find out more about this home, I’ll be sure to update my post.


In 1926 this land was purchased by its 4th owner!  Over the years, the quarter sections were owned by different owners.  Mr was born on the Island of Mull in Scotland.  They were community orientated and involved in the King’s United Church, Community Fowl Suppers and the Margaret Rink.  The two brothers were avid curlers.  I can’t say for sure if the family actually lived in this house but I’m going to wager a guess and say yes.


The youngest brother enlisted with the Canadian Army during WWII serving overseas in the defence of London during the Blitz of 1942.  He was stationed at Woolwich Arsenal.  At one point he was reported missing in action which turned out to be a mistake.  He returned home and farmed until his death in 1991.


There were many outbuildings on the land and my guess would be that the family had many horses.

A lot of old farming equipment could be found throughout the property as well.


I very much enjoyed our venturing around this property.


What a beautiful piece of property with amazing prairie views.






One thing I want to do but haven’t yet is night photography.  I think my apprehension is failing and so I haven’t tried.  I put off getting my tripod out or say, oh, to overcast.

Last night while loading the boat I thought, uhm, I wonder if this will work and shot a photo of the moon.


Well that’s not to bad, free hand, no tripod.  So I tried again.


Not bad if I say so myself.  Time to get that tripod out.

I guess when I see fellow abandon seekers photos I fear I won’t be able to do what they do.  Practice makes perfect and I’ll never get there if I don’t start trying and playing.



The family whom this land was farmed by for many years came to the area in 1891. The two brothers purchased land of their own and traded one another for their land.  When the land owner married he homesteaded on another piece of property but kept this land until his passing.  The land was then farmed by his son after serving in WWII.  Very proud of his families farming heritage and having farmed he same land for over a 100 years, he wanted to ensure the land stayed in the family so he gave the land to his nephew.


I was convinced when we were first there that this was the home of a bachelor given that the shop was attached right to the back of the house but this isn’t the case.

The house currently on the property was moved their later and was used as a granary.  It was moved here from another section of land.


In its time this was a big, beautiful home.  The inside still have the railing that surrounded the staircase on the second floor.  At the front of the house behind the staircase was a big window that overlooked the prairies as far as the eye could see.


In 1997 the Historical Society of Manitoba presents the family with a plague for their family in recognition of their 100 year ownership.



So, like the old blue truck, on this particular day in a place Reg would call his picture Heaven, I found one car that I loved.


Maybe it was because until you go close, you couldn’t tell if it were coming or going.


This neat old car wasn’t rusted like many of the others we’ve seen.  Just like the blue Chevy truck.

And the chrome!


What a beauty.




This property has A LOT of history.  I’ve done a lot of reading to wrap my head around this one and the different families.  I hope I’ve got it right and if I don’t….


The original owners of this land, Mr. & Mrs. M (notice I don’t say home cause I have no clue who built the home, the first family, the second family, a family before both of those families), married in 1919 and moved into the home shortly thereafter. Mr. M’s family originated from Edinburg, Scotland.

The M family raised their children here and in 1947 sold it to the parents of current land owner Mr. & Mrs. P.  The M’s moved to Winnipeg.  Mr. & Mrs. M are buried in the cemetery in the closest town to the home.

IMG_6761.JPG I would say that this was a large home for its time with two entrances, both with covered porches, a large eat-in kitchen with a staircase leading upstairs.  The kitchen, at the back entrance was also where you would go down into the basement.

There was a large living room wherein one curtain was still hanging on the rod and the other was hanging in the center of the window like a hanging, ghostly figure.  A Hoover vacuum which would have been a good one in its time, stood near the center of the room.


This is also the room where a large staircase led to the second level of the home.


What I am imagining as the dining room, at the front of the home and to the left of this doorway was a floor model television.  A good one.


I’m sure if there was still power to the home, if we plugged that TV in, it would have worked.  And as per usual, there would be nothing on!

Both families were very active in the community they lived in.

I do know that the wife of the second family, Mr. & Mrs. P moved out of the home in 1976, a year after the death of her husband.  It has been vacant ever since, sort of.  I would say that there have been some inhabitants of the furry type in this house.

While I did not venture up, Reg did.  He didn’t get very far as the home seems to be splitting in half.  This is not visible from the outside or main level of the home.

I did also discover while trying to find the door into the home that the upstairs of the home was now the home of A LOT of wasps.  While standing in the kitchen on the main level below the window that the wasps were going in and out of I could hear them.  I am assuming that they are living in the walls and floors of that second floor room.  There was no further investigation for me as I have no intentions of walking into a wasps nest ever again.

The home is nicely treed and secure from the elements.  Also on the property was an old barn, some bins,  an open cow shelter, a shed and the remnants of something else but only the concrete slab remains.


The original descendants of this family came to Canada in 1855 from Ireland and settled in Ontario.  In they moved to Manitoba 1882 he bought the section of land on which this house was built.


This was not the original home.  This house was built in approximately 1904 and replaced a log home along the Long River.


Even through hard times Mr. & Mrs. K managed to keep food on the table and keep the house warm, cutting wood from the area and keeping a large family warm, fed and healthy. The land was located on a trail used by travellers and in winter many stopped for directions, weather reports and possibly warmth.


What I found very interesting in this home was the honey comb we found everywhere, right when we came through the back door and further into the house.


I thought it was neat that wild bees had found themselves a place to build a “hive”.


I loved that I could read up and find so much history about this family and the land they lived on.  The kids enjoyed the exploring, skating on the river and tobogganing down the hill in the winter.  Over the many generations the family was active in their community.