Remember the little boy that rushed to the school to sit with the teachers until dismissal?  Well this is the school.


Built in 1883 on the SW corner of his parents property for $843.00.  They collected a further $10.00 for benches as well as a heating stove for $9.00, 22 lengths of pipe for $0.18 cents each, a broom for $0.35, a box of chalk for $0.30 and desks for $8.50 each.


Church services were held in the church starting in 1884 until 1915.


As the nearby village grew, it was decided that the Riverside School should be moved to its current location in 1902.  In 1904 a storm prevented the children from getting home that evening and they were stormed stayed until noon the following day.

Changes to the school happened over time and in the summer of 1912 metallic shingles were put on the roof.  The inside walls were changed from tin to wallboard and wainscoting in 1936.  In 1951 electricity was installed.  An oil burning furnace was added in 1953.


The last teacher employed was Aggie Jean Martin in 1956 where she was paid approximately $215 per month.  The school, like many other small, one room schools in small communities were the centre of activity where they would hold dances, card parties or box socials.  The school closed in 1956.




I know I’ve mentioned the Long River many times before, for many reasons.  First off, it runs along behind my house and it runs through many farm yards through this Municipality.


Well with the lack of rain this summer it got very low and began to stink, bad.  Then we got rain and snow and so it began to turn green.  So green that it reminds me of a Shamrock Shake from McDonald’s.  Its disgusting.  I stood out on the highway and played with my settings to try and capture the actual color of the water.  I gave up and maybe I’ll go back because it really is a sight to see.


The Long River flows right into Killarney Lake!  Yuck.


This Spring when my mission to find and shoot as many abandoned properties around me began I traveled to and from work searching for barns and rooftops.  Here is one I spotted from the highway on my way to work.





On the way to a property Reg asked me to take a turn to “check something out”.  Off we went down a muddy, not maintained, gravel, not lets call it mud, road to a barn we could see in the distance.  I’m sure I’ve seen this before but when I didn’t see a house, I didn’t make note of the property.  Its a good thing we had the Jeep cause it was muddy. Well all the mud was worth this stop.


The house was gone and all that was left was the stone foundation, the fridge, freezer, a couple pieces of furniture and many, many knick-knacks.  I found several kettles that day.

In a metal/glass pile away from the house I even found what was left of an old gravy boat.  I found it fitting, considering it was Thanksgiving weekend.


Mr. D. C’s father was born in Perthshire, Scotland in 1856.  They moved to Ontario in 1876.  D was born in 1877 and helped his father farm the original homestead purchased upon their arrival in Manitoba.    In 1926 he married E and they lived on his father’s land for 4 years.  Then in 1930 he purchased this particular piece of land and started building the barn and the other buildings.  D was a member of the Oddfellows Lodge.  He was interested in the education of his children and served as a school trustee for the nearby school district.

A, D & E’s youngest son remained on his father’s farm after his retirement.  He had helped his father farm the land his entire life, even while going to school.  As a youngster is played with the local fastball team as well as the local Linament League.


One of the neatest things about all the exploring I’ve been able to do is when I get home and look over my pictures and then start researching the family only to find that I actually have a photograph that helps solidify the facts that I am reading and researching, like these baseballs.

There were many outbuildings on the property and some old equipment.  And just my luck, an old wooden door knob – I love old door knobs and latches.


I loved this little old building tucked away in the trees.


And of course, this old cart.


A was the second generation to farm this land.  I am told that this original home that stood on that old stone foundation was moved to town when Mrs. left the farm and was put up near our town school.


I am told that this home was hauled 40 km to its resting place by a 40 horse team wherein 3 ravines had to be crossed.  While I did not get this confirmed in writing, I will say that the information comes from a reliable source and a fellow abandoned home seeker in the area.



The home has been designated a heritage site by the RM that it is in and is now home to several bee hives.

The family of this homesteader originated from Ireland and settled in Ontario.  The homesteader, Mr. B was born in 1899 on a nearby farm.  He was the eldest of 11 children.  He was the first baby baptist in the nearby church.  At a young age he left school to help his sickly father farm and his sisters fondly remember him taking care of them and ensuring they had skates and knew how to skate, took them to dances and traveled back and forth with them to and from their boarding schools to ensure they came home on the weekends.


In 1918 he tried to enlist in the Army, under-aged.  His mother sent his birth certificate to headquarters before he could be sent overseas.  He trained as a barber for the military.


In 1942 after farming with his father, working in Alberta and farming with his new wife’s brothers he purchased the land that this home stands on.  At the same time he purchased his very first shorthorn heifer and this began a long career of breeding and showing them.  He was described as a good herdsman who loved his animals.  He was a hard working man who did many things to earn money.


Mr. & Mrs. B also had sheep, chicken’s, turkey’s, ducks and geese. They also had a bountiful garden and many berry bushes which they sold to others.  They were active in their community.

They were well loved in their community and fondly remembered by their children.

I have passed this home many times over the years and appreciate it a whole lot more given the knowledge of its history.

I was also told that the home was vandalized, virtually over night, many years ago, leaving a large hole on the exterior.  What a shame that someone would/could do this to something that 1. doesn’t belong to them and 2. that holds many memories to many.



 The Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg is the home of Stanley & Stella, two Stellar’s Sea Eagles.   A large bird of prey originally described in 1811.  A large eagle with dark brown plumage & white wings which feasts mainly on fish and water birds. It is on average the heaviest eagle on earth weighing in at 11 to 20 lbs.

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This Spring I received the cutest little arrangement of flowers from a friend.  I wasn’t expecting them and was pleasantly surprised at her kindness.


I wanted to remember them for years to come and took them outside for a photo shoot.


Thank you VK for the beautiful flowers.


I found another grave site of a family whose home we photographed over the summer. In this home was a couple of old photos? Him? Son? Grandchild?


The Long River runs out behind my house and into Killarney Lake. The Long River runs through many of the rural properties in the RM. I swear it’s one of the wind-est rivers ever.

It is always home to plenty of ducks, geese, herons and of course rodents.

This summer the boys tried to fish for carp in it and with the draught we experienced it was shallow. A couple weeks ago while walking Bauer it stunk something horrid. Now we are getting tons of rain.

Well now it’s a beautiful shade of green/blue!!


Mr. W was born in Cornwall, England in 1854.  He came to Canada and settled in Ontario. He found love and married his missus.  In 1881 they came to Manitoba and settled on this property.  The first home built there was a log home and then in 1896 this home was built.


In 1883 a school was built on the SW corner of his property.  It was moved in 1902, 2 miles North.  Mr. W also owned the local Canadian Elevator in 1913 but it burnt down in 1917.  It was valued at $7,000 but he did not carry insurance.

His youngest son A, born in 1896 loved having the school close to home and at 5 years of age he would go to the school at 3:00 p.m. and sit with the teachers until school was dismissed.


A married M in 1921 and lived on the farm.  M raised 50 ducks, geese and chickens every year.  She kept them in the coop during the day in incubators and at night time she moved them into the house until the warmer weather arrived.  There was evidence of one or two buildings that could have been chicken coops.

The raised 3 children on this farm, too.


A & M’s only son, E born in 1938, started to farm with his Dad in 1953.  He married W and they had two children of their own.  They purchased the farm from E’s parents in 1966.

We found so many outbuildings and different machinery on this land.  I especially loved this old wheel the the tree it was resting upon which claimed it.


E & W had one son whom still farms the land but lives nearby.  It was K & H that granted me permission to photograph the property and have asked me for copies of the photos that I take for her Mother-in-law as a keepsake.  I hope that the photos I have taken can do justice to the memories they must have of this farm.



Sometimes the kids gets dragged along on an exploration. So I try to make it a photo shoot. Usually the girl goes along with it but on this day she was having no part of it. Likely for the benefit of her friend!


Story written by Paul Hamby

During the 1800’s many farmers dreamed of a milking machine to ease the chore of hand milking. Dairy farmers were beginning to milk more cows in larger herds. By the year 1900, hundreds of patents had been granted for milking machines. But none of them proved to be worthy on the farm.

In the fall of 1922, Herbert McCornack invented the Surge Bucket Milker. He used a large roasting pan from his family kitchen as the base to design his new milking machine. This revolutionary milker would hang under the cow suspended on a steel spring rod that was attached to a leather surcingle strap over the cows back. The new Surge Milker used the proven Pine Tree pulsator.

Herbert McCornack also invented the Sharples Cream Separator, a can washer, and many other useful items. He was awarded at least 50 United States patents.

The new milker had a natural surging action as the milker moved back and forward while milking. Thus its name – The Surge Milker. This tug-and-pull movement was similar to the tugging and pulling of a calf. Fred Babson began testing a prototype on his Guernsey dairy cows at Four Pine Farm located near Hinsdale Illinois.

“Four Pine Farm is the real home of the Surge Milker. Here, the machine was developed and used for a long period before even one unit was sold; here extensive experimental work is carried on constantly. No change is ever made without a thorough tryout on the cows”– “Used on the Best” a 1930 Babson sales booklet

The new milker surpassed all their expectations. The biggest advantage was the ability to easily clean and sanitize the Surge. No long milk tubing to try and keep sanitary. “Only 4 pieces of rubber to wash” “Only 4 inches from the teat to the pail”

“Occasionally the teat cups come off the teats; the engine stops, or the cow jumps or for some reason they come off. On an ordinary machine they land on the floor and time must be taken to wash them before milking can proceed. On the Surge, they simply swing down against the pail, away from the floor, out of the dirt. On the usual type of machine if the cups fall to the floor with the pump running they suck up filth and spoil the milk in the pail – this may happen once a day or once a month. On the Surge it never happens at all because the Surge cup automatically shuts off the instant it drops from the teat.” – from 1924 sales book on the Surge Milker

Another advantage of The Surge Milker was better milking. This was due to short pulsation tubes and good vacuum to the teat ends. The teats are only a few inches from the stable vacuum supply inside the bucket.

In 1923 the Surge Bucket Milker was offered For Sale to dairy farms in North America. One of the problems with prior milking machines was that the farmers were unable to easily maintain them. Babson Brothers made a pledge that anyone who bought a Surge Milker would have a dealer visit their farm at least once a year for parts and service. Babson Brothers maintained 10 locations in the US and Canada by 1930 to support the growing dealer network. They offered a 3 year warranty and guaranteed that every part of the Surge Milker was absolutely rustproof. This commitment to keep the units running in top condition along with a quality product contributed to the success of the Surge Bucket Milker.

Farmers were delighted to find that they were getting more milk from their cows with the Surge Bucket Milker.

“I would install a new Surge Bucket Milker system and stay for the first milking that night. The farmer would set out say 10 cans that he usually filled in the evening milking. Many times the farmers had to get another can to hold the extra milk harvested by the Surge Bucket Milker.” – quoted from a retired Midwest Surge dealer.

“We made an actual gain on the thirty head of cows in the first week, changing over to the machines, of 18.9 lbs of butterfat. This at 57 cents a pound, the price we received at the creamery last month, is $10.74 …Louis tells me the separator contains not half so much dirt when he has to wash it…I’ll have to take my hat off to you” – W.F. Schilling, Northfield, Minnesota – March 22, 1929

The farmer increased his income by harvesting more milk and not having to dump contaminated or dirty milk from the claws falling off and sucking up dirt. This put more money in the pocket of Surge Milker users.

“The Surge Milker was built to meet what really amounted to an emergency. Milk inspectors were condemning mechanical milkers; dairymen were going back to the expense and annoyance of hand milking. In so many cases, it was difficult under ordinary farm conditions, to produce clean milk with a machine – entirely possible but not practical. All machines were too complicated to be cleaned properly in the time at the disposal of the average farmer. We were in the milking machine business and we wanted to continue, so we set out to build a machine that would be so simple and easy to clean that there would be no temptation to slight the job – that would settle once and for all the problem of producing milk of a low bacteria count with a milking machine. The Surge Milker is the answer! The fact that we were able to develop a machine that does an obviously better job of milking was a happenstance but that doesn’t decrease its importance; the important thing is the proved fact that the Surge does milk cows quicker and better – and with a degree of safety never before approached.

The Surge is no longer new. In three years,<1923 to1926>its use has spread from Maine to Hawaii – from central Canada to the Rio Grande and a high percentage of its most enthusiastic users are men who have failed with other machines. So far as we are concerned, the emergency no longer exists – the Surge has solved the problem. Pine Tree Milking Machine Company (1926)

The first Surge Buckets were marketed under the name The Surge Milker – Pine Tree Milking Machine Company. Around 1930, the Pine Tree name was dropped and the buckets were labeled The Surge Milker – Babson Bros Co Chicago. This labeling continued for the next 70 years. Check out the variety of logos by clicking Surge Logos.

Mellote Introduced The Surge Milker to Europe in the 1930s.

Dear Sirs (Ozark Electric Coop). . .We have had a Surge milker about eighteen months, but we ran it with an engine. Last month we got a motor so we could use electricity. We are very pleased as our bill is not one-half as much as the gas and oil had been per month. Yours for more electricity. Irvin H. Cook, Republic, Mo. ~1940

By 1940, The Surge Bucket Milker had 40% of US market share. By 1950 just over 50% of the US market and by 1955 – 76% of the US market. 1955 is also the year the patent ran out and soon everyone was trying to make a look-a-like pail including Sears, David Bradley, FarmMaster, Montgomery Wards, DeLaval, Universal, and Conde.

The Surge Milker was originally made of Monel Metal, an alloy of 67% nickel, 28% copper, and small amounts of other metals such as steel, iron or aluminum. This metal held up well to the harsh cleaning solutions and protected the flavor of the milk better than other metals of the time. It was also offered in a very rare pure Nickel model. The pure Nickel model was marketed to farms producing milk for babies and hospitals.

Starting in April 1936 Surge buckets were manufactured from 18/8 “Republic Enduro Stainless Steel“. Stainless steel was a new metal alloy. This food grade alloy is commonly called 18/8 referring to the chrome and nickel content. It is also referred to as type 304. 18/8 stainless steel is made of chromium (18%), nickel (8%) and steel (74%). Stainless steel resists acids and alkaline cleaning chemicals and can be polished to a “Looking Glass Finish” that is very sanitary. The Surge buckets were made in 2 pieces and silver soldered together. This type of stainless steel Surge bucket was produced until the 1950’s. During the Second World War, the handles were made from carbon steel that was strapped on. This was due to a shortage of Chromium – making stainless steel hard to get. Babson Brothers offered to put a stainless steel handle on those war time buckets (at no charge to the farmer) after the war. They also produced some plastic Surge buckets during World War II. These were not sold for farm use, just to be used by dealers as salesmen demos and farm show displays. Plastic technology in the 1940’s was not advanced enough for a durable plastic Surge Bucket Milker. If you find one of these plastic buckets, they are rare.

Surge had aggressive and creative advertising campaigns. Surge literature and ads are quite collectable. In the 1940’s Frank Hendron joined Babson Brothers marketing department. He drew the Johnny Surge cartoons, electric fencer cartoons, put out a regular newsletter to customers and produced many of the magazine ads. Frank left the Kansas City Star newspaper where he had worked beside Walt Disney, just before coming to Babson Brothers. You can see a resemblance in Disney’s early cartoon drawings and Frank’s Surge cartoons.

The one millionth Surge Milker was manufactured in the 1950’s. It was gold plated and is on display at the WestfaliaSurge North American headquarters in Naperville Illinois.

In the 1950’s Babson Bros Co introduced an all new Surge Milker. It featured a seamless stainless steel bucket. The technology for this type of welding was developed in Belgium. Once the process was perfected, the Babson factory in Chicago adopted it and started making Grade A seamless buckets in 3 sizes. They also improved the lid at this time with slanted milk inlets to reduce the chance of getting milk back into the pulsator. “The new lid angle provides better distribution of Tug & Pull on each quarter of the udder.” More than a dozen lid modifications were made over the 80 years of production. All lids take the same lid gasket. The pulsator was also improved in the 1950’s. The block was changed for a different type of mount on the new lid and the new block was easier to clean during overhauls. “A new wider pulsator cover resists dripping and splashing water.” The new style pulsators were manufactured from the mid 1950’s until 1999. New style pulsators serial numbers start with a “C”. Old style pulsators were manufactured from about 1916 until about 1960. Their serial numbers start with the letter “S”. Most repair parts interchange from the 1st Pine Tree pulsators to the last Surge pulsators built 80 years later.

The Surge Milker could be “completely taken apart and all parts cleaned with a brush in 5 minutes” This advantage plus an aggressive advertising campaign took The Surge Milker to number 1 in sales in North America. In the 1960’s, pipeline milking systems replaced bucket milkers as the preferred way to milk cows in North America. Pipeline milkers require much less labor and are easier on the humans doing the milking. Pipeline systems were developed in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Thousands of Pipeline milking systems were installed in the 1960’s and 1970’s as farmer’s herds were getting larger. The trend of fewer dairy farms milking more cows continues today.

Sales of the Surge Bucket Milker declined from 1975 to 1999. Production ended in 1999. Thousands of Surge bucket milkers are still in use today. Many are on small hobby farms or homesteads where they milk a family cow or a few dairy goats for their home use. Some are still used on smaller commercial dairy farms to milk all their cows and others are just used to milk fresh cows or treated cows on commercial dairy farms. In 1999, Westfalia’s parent company purchased Babson Brothers Company and merged the two brands for a new worldwide dairy equipment company – GEA Farm Technologies .


The H family came to Manitoba in the Spring of 1890.  The family settled in the area, his wife and 6 children.  In 1900 one of his young sons married, during a double wedding ceremony, with his sister and both settled on different sections of this land.  The siblings lived out their lives farming as neighbors on this section of land in the heart of Boissevain-Morton.


The son played a role in the organizing of the East Lynne School District in 1904.  They belonged to the Ninga Methodist Church where Mrs. played the organ.

Water was always an issue on the farm.  Water was hauled in barrels from another section of land.


In fact, one year on a hot July day Mr. had been working hard for days breaking sod and took a drink from the nearby slough.  He ended up with typhoid fever and was bedridden for weeks.  Luckily his sister-in-law was a newly trained as a nurse and nursed him back to health.


In 1938 the government paid for a 120 foot long by 60 feet wide and 14 feet deep well.  The farm never saw a dry day after that.


They were kind and generous people who in 1931 adopted a six year old boy.  The boy was only to stay with them for a couple days.  He became an integral part of their family.  He joined the World War II and returned home in 1945.  He unlike his siblings moved to the Virden area while the rest stayed in the area.


Mr. suffered a major heart attack in 1941 and was not able to work again.  He passed away in 1952.  Mrs. passed away in 1968 at 91 years of age.


Two of his children then took over the farm until 1971 when they passed on the farm to their Grandson.