A few weeks ago Colton, Trudie and I headed out to Minnedosa for a hockey game. Being somewhat new territory I scanned the area for something to photograph.
After the game we stopped at this old home not far off the highway.
The road was marked as a dead end and it was quite hilly. There wasn’t a lot of snow in the area and their was an occupied house across the road. I was happy with a road shot although I’m sure this old house was likely quite spectacular in its prime.
The only other thing standing on the property was this old barn.
James was born in Ireland in 1828. In 1848 he immigrated to Ontario where he met Elizabeth. They married in 1850. Elizabeth is said to be the sister of Walt Disney’s Grandfather. James and Elizabeth moved to Manitoba in 1889. James was a wheelwright and Elizabeth wove carpets. Together they had 10 children.
Their son John married Annie and together they had 6 children. In 1902 they built their second home on this land, this stone home. Before the family moved in, Annie painted the kitchen with a high gloss white enamel oil paint. She died a few days later of lead poisoning. This was a devastating loss to the family. For many years their oldest daughther stepped in to help her father raise the younger children with the help of her aunt from Ontario. In 1908 John remarried.
In 1918 John and his second wife retired to the nearby town and John’s son Cliff took over the farm and the old stone home. John helped Cliff on the farm and two years after his retirement, John was killed in a binder accident.
In 1939 Cliff sold the farm and moved to Brandon where he worked as a carpenter and operated the Four Star Theatre at Rivers, Manitoba. Cliff died at 62 years of age.
This beautiful field stone home still stands tall and was occupied up until a few years ago. Rumor has it that the large home is very expensive to heat and decided to move.
James, born in 1841 in Mitchell, Ontario migrated to Manitoba on June 8th, 1881. When leaving Ontario, he sold 50 acres of land. He had 9 children with his wife Jane. When they arrived in Portage la Prairie, he purchased a team of oxen and a Red River cart. He left his family in Portage.
Upon his arrival at Palmer’s Landing he was given a list of homesteads. Because he was out of food he went back to the crossing with some other people and they advised him of homesteads of where his land is still farmed to this day. Upon his arrival he needed to walk to Deloraine to make entry for the land. His hired man stayed behind to break the land.
They homesteaded on this piece of land that I found while wandering. James passed in 1937 and his wife Jane in 1932. Their son Samuel took over the farm until 1945 when him and his wife retired to Brandon.
I thought the red barn and blue skies looked sharp together along this field of corn that seemed to go on forever so I stopped for a couple roadside shots. Digging around for a little more history, I was thrilled to find some information on the barn.
In the winter of 1884 three of his children and his wife had diptheria when they lost one little girl.
Samuel’s nephew took over the farm in 1946 and his son now farms the land.
When Jack & Jane moved to Manitoba, they first lived in a tent and then a soddy. The original home is no longer on the property. What remains is the barn, built in 1898 consisting of a 8 foot high field stone foundation. The logs were dragged to the farm from the Turtle Mountains.
The family hauled their firewood from the Souris River, 8 or 9 miles away.
While the photography is therapeutic for me, I can’t tell you how much I love being able to come home and find a history on something that caught my attention. Imagining his trek to this piece of land and breaking this land by hand to earn a living to feed his family. Love the history.