I have to admit, I think Saskatchewan might be a prime location for abandoned properties and towns. Here is another home I found along the way to Wilcox and another one I didn’t even need to get out of the car for.
I could have stopped every couple miles to photograph something on my way to Wilcox. This truck was parked by an old church in an abandoned town East of Weyburn.
I will be stopping here again.
BERNICE (BERNEICE) SCHOOL
Located in what used to be known as Bernice, Manitoba in the RM of Two Borders, this little school is located right on the side of the highway.
While heading to Saskatchewan this past weekend to see my son, this school was conveniently located and I didn’t even have to get out of the Jeep.
Bernice School No. 547, which was established as Gould School, operated between 1888 and 1914. In 1914 it became Bernice (Berneice) School and operated as such until 1965 when it then became part of Napinka School No. 2369.
HE’S A HOUND
This summer my son got himself a try-out at the Athol Murray College of Notre Dame, better known as the Notre Dame Hounds. I drove him out there for a scheduled ice time where he was asked to come back again. We left Wilcox that Thursday in early August knowing we’d have to wait a couple weeks to find out how the other try-outs turned out. The following Monday he got the call.
Oh what a wave of emotion. On top of getting everything ready for him to go I found myself counting down the days until he was leaving. As they became fewer and fewer, I became more and more emotional. This was a huge step for a 16 year old kid. A 16 year old kid with a passion to play this game, at all costs. No time for me to be selfish.
My boy does not do photos, as you can tell. He’s never in any of them and we don’t do family photos. But I did tell him, this is huge thing and we have to document it somehow. Two days before he left I took him down to the beach for a couple shots.
Once settled in to their dorms, classes and varsity, the kids started try-outs. We knew that he was projected to play either U17AAA in the CSSHL which would take him as far as B.C., (this made Grandma and Grandpa very happy), or U18AA in the SAAHL.
90 skaters and 15 goalies took to the ice for a week of scrimmages and a spot on the U18AAA Hounds. Once those players were picked, the rest of the boys were placed on other teams. Colton secured himself a spot on the U18AA Hounds (there is also a team called the Argos).
Congrats Colton. You set a goal when COVID ended your 2019/2020 season prematurely and here you are, doing it. While this will be the first season ever that I won’t be there to watch you play, we’ll be cheering you on, as always.
Many moons ago I found an old house. We got permission to explore and found lots to keep us busy. As we walked the property enjoying the view, talking about what an amazing place this would have been to homestead we made a discovery that really excited my exploring partner, but at the time, not so much me.
I knew we’d be a while as this was his favourite thing to shoot, not the houses so I shot too. I wish now, when I think back to the many places I’ve visited and the old cars and equipment I’ve purposely passed by, that I didn’t.
Maybe it’s time to start revisiting, with fresh eyes.
This old truck was parked here with the intention of getting it going and driving it again.
That didn’t happen and of course, as always, Mother Nature waits for no one and she took over. So did some critters.
At the time these photos were taken, I had zero interest in the vehicles and I regret that now!
In 1870, at the age of 17, William decided to immigrate, with this help of his brother-in-law, to Pennsylvania. Upon his arrival, intolerable working conditions at the iron foundry had him seek work as a gardener. He rented and cultivated a small piece of land. Once a week he sold produce to the market and gained a reputation for excellent produce.
He returned to Ireland 9 times and on one of his trips home he fell in love and married Mary Jane. They eventually came to Canada where they rented a dairy farm in Ontario. They returned back to Ireland to care for William’s sick parents. While there, an old neighbor encouraged William and his young family to come back to Canada and settle in the Underhill area.
In the 1900’s after many years of hardship and never giving up, some years only harvesting enough to pay the rent for their land, the family built this beautiful home.
The home was passed down to their son Walter whom in 1940 married and started to raise a family of his own. Walter and his wife were married for 63 years and spent much of their life on this land.
Walter enjoyed farm life, and from an early age was quite active with the livestock and grain operations. As a young man his focus was fully on farming. With the help of his Dad and brother, they began expanding the farm in the 1930’s.
The brothers were innovative in farm mechanization, replacing grain stooks and threshing machines with self-propelled combines and caterpillars. When Walter was 23, he attended the U of M, taking an agriculture course which he thoroughly enjoyed.
Walter and his brother continued to improve their farming operations. In 1947, they added the Hartney Airport and surrounding land to their farm.
A very successful crop for them was flax and in the late 1940s the brothers and their Dad were named the Flax Kings of Manitoba. One aspect that greatly affected their farming operation was the addition of lights to the tractors and combines. This allowed for late night seeding and combining, and 24 hour work days became a way of life for them.
Walter continued farming after his brother left for Alberta, and would do so successfully for another four decades. Even at 86 Walter was still managing to put in a full days work. Multiple hip and knee surgeries had severely limited his mobility, leaving him dependent on crutches to walk. He managed with sheer determination, to get in and out of the combine every day. He also loved the freedom his pick-up gave him and would drive around the countryside supervising seeding and harvesting activities, his heart forever with the farm.
Those who got to know Walter soon became aware of his love for farming. He was hardworking and expected the same of those working alongside him. He was always looking for ways to improve the farm and increase crop yields. Walter was very sharp and seldom came out on the short end of any business deal.
Walter took great pleasure in his beautiful yard and trees. The yard where his daughter now lives is a sight. I have never seen such a yard, loved and cared for.
This old truck was at an old house that I was told was being torn down. I was so excited to be able to photograph the house that I didn’t really acknowledge this old truck. I don’t even thought I included it in my original post.
Last weekend I went through some of my old folders where I remember there being old cars and farm equipment and you know what! I didn’t shoot a lot of that stuff.