This history made my head hurt. There’s just so much and then trying to link it all together without screwing it up. I actually started it and then stopped and went away from it for a few days. But here I am, making another attempt and writing just the most recent. I tend to become long winded when I write and I needed to remind myself to stick to what I know for sure, sort of.

I have been waiting many years for these houses to become more abandoned looking. And really when I photographed them, I wasn’t expecting to find out a whole bunch about them. Well, never assume because this piece of property and the family that owned it is full of history.

Sections of this land were purchased by the first settlers in this area who arrived in 1881. They did not homestead on this property but they farmed it because it is said that at that time land was cheap and “fertile”. Early settlers made out well.

The families who homesteaded on this land were not the original landowners. From my understanding, homes were not built here until many years later. In fact, the niece of one of the original settlers came from Montreal with her two boys to be a housekeeper for her uncle. Her son B, worked for his great uncle and eventually bought the land in 1912. B married and together the couple had 11 children, although 4 of those children died in infancy. Two of their son’s would eventually take over the farm for their parents.

I am going to make the assumption that this home was built by B & M and was the home that the two brothers were born and raised in. I am also going to assume that this house was an Eaton’s catalogue home. The home is still in very good condition although someone has come along and smashed windows.

Partners, I assume that when the brothers were old enough to have families of their own but wanted to continue farming together, this second home was built.


John arrived in Oak Lake, Manitoba from Dunboyne, Ontario in 1881 while working with C.P.R. From there he went in search of land to farm. He purchased a section of land and took up homestead where he built a small house and planted a few trees with seeds he brought with him from Ontario. He brought three oxen and a 3 year old colt which was the horsepower behind his homesteading duties. While plowing his land, the oxen required frequent rest breaks and would lie down. While this is not common practice for horses, the young colt would watch his teammates go down and would end up laying down with them. When the local school was moved John donated a piece of land for the new school yard.

In 1882 when John’s sister and husband arrived in Manitoba, he purchased another piece of adjoining land. Here he set up his permanent residence, planted a shelter belt and built a hipped roof barn. The farm was dubbed “Glenview”. It was a beautiful sight on the bare prairies with its large garden, fruit trees and bushes.

In 1907, after falling in love with his farm hand’s sister, Lilly, they married and spent their married life at Glenview.

The couple never had children of their own but it is said that the home was always full of friends and children. And visitors leaving the home would leave with fresh veggies and berries from the couple’s garden.

John would often send his niece and her friend to school on his small driving horse, Skip. Once Skip delivered the girls to school, the girls would turn her around and she would go home on her own. John and Lilly were fondly remembered by their niece.

John was often sought after for advice. He was known to be quiet, unassuming and deeply respected. Himself and Lilly supported every good cause in their community.

In 1917 Lilly passed away. Now living alone, John encouraged his sister and her family who lived in Saskatchewan to come to Glenview. John lived with them until he passed in 1935. In 1942 his sister sold the farm and it was then sold again in 1954 to the family that still owns the land.

Colton and I came across this property on our way home from Wilcox in August. The barn no longer stands and the little cottage that was built for John after the death of his wife was later moved to a neighboring town.


The very early history of this family is one that must be told. Richard & Maria who married in Kilkenny, Ireland on April 20, 1815, sought fame and fortune in the New World. Richard was able to find a exceptionally cheap passage and jumped on the opportunity right away. Young (20 years old) and newly married, Richard left his 18 years old bride behind. The plan was that she would board a ship with friends a month later. This would allow Richard to get their new home ready for her arrival. Turns out, the ship Richard boarded was a British privateer and the cheap passage had been a new press-gang scheme. After sailing the South Atlantic for 6 weeks, Richard knew there was a Yankee ship many miles away. Under the cover of darkness, Richard climbed out of a porthole and lowered himself to the ice cold, shark filled waters with a rope. After swimming for hours towards the light of the ship and with barely enough strength or energy, he crawled into the chain works by means of a broken rigging cable. Once on board, he collapsed in utter exhaustion. When the privateer came the following day, seeking their wayward passenger, the captain of the Yankee ship, impressed by Richard’s courage and determination, stowed him away in a crate and convinced the privateer that there was no way anyone could have survived in those waters.

Upon Richard’s arrival in Montreal and in great despair about the well-being of his young wife. After confirming that she had been a passenger on a recently landed ship, he headed to the government office to make some inquiries about his trip west. Upon his departure he spotted Maria coming down the stairs. The couple later received land from Colonel Talbot and started farming. Richard and Maria started farming, raised 11 children on their land. Richard served as a magistrate for many years. He was also one of the early founders of the Methodist Church in his community.

Richard and Maria’s grandson, Charles built this house in 1911 with the help of a local contractor. The bricks for this home were made in the families own brickyard. In 1912 they built a barn, but that no longer stands.

Born in 1901, Richard’s great granddaughter would later move into the home with her husband who was a well known horseman. He worked as a driver and would drive doctors and salesmen all over the country. During the 1918 flu pandemic he and his brother would drive doctors to the home of people seeking medical attention.

They raised two boys in this home. The family raised Shorthorn cattle on the farm. Mr. died in 1964 but Mrs. remained on the farm until her ill-health forced her to move into care in 1981. The photo above, Mr. being in the cowboy hat with his wife on his right, shows the couple with his family.

This beautiful old home is visible from the highway. I didn’t even get out of the car to take this shot. Here’s what I didn’t do. I didn’t write down where I was when I took this photo so when it came time do the history of the house, I couldn’t remember where I had photographed it so that I could search the history. I had to reach out to a fellow hockey parent from the area in hope that he would be able to help me. Thank you friend.


While photographing my neighbors house, my eagle eyed husband spotted another on the same section of land. Within a short visit and a tad bit of history about the house, we headed out through a field, over the tracks to this home that is now pasture land.

There were tons of photo ops on this property given an abundance of dead wood. I headed straight toward the house while Cade and Makenna wandered around.

This half section of land was owned by the brother of my neighbors now house. William received this land as a young man but within a few years of farming here, in 1919 to be exact, he moved to British Columbia. Over time the property was inherited to his brother.

We were told by the landowner that a good trail was made to the house through a field/swampy area and over the train tracks to the gate. She had recently been removing boards from the home and taking them back to their current home for projects.

The house was by no means safe to enter. The plaster on the inside walls is giving away and there are heaps and heaps of it everywhere. You may also notice the way the house is leaning inwards. It will eventually give in and collapse into the basement.

Mrs. told us that many, many years ago, the ancestors of her husband hauled this house to this location by horse. The home got stuck and the men had to hire the help of more horses to finally bring this home to its final resting spot.

I have to admit that this exploring trip was likely one of my favorite so far. Our intention was to head to our neighbors house, then head down to the remains of a stone church and then head home. We didn’t get to the church but off the top of my head I photographed at least 8 or 9 houses that day and got just as many leads for future exploring and shooting adventures.


Situated in the same small town that is home to the oldest elevator in Manitoba and possibly Canada, this little house and its land was now owned by our neighbor. We were in the early stages of the COVID-19 lock down back in April and we were all happy to get out and to do something.

I didn’t have to hunt for this cute little house, it was a freebie. And once in a while its nice to not have to search. I had no idea what we were going to find when we got here but it was worth it. To top it off, we were given permission to enter the little home but was advised the stairs were sketchy.

Given it was Spring and nothing was really growing yet, the yard was easy to navigate. It was then I realized that summer exploring can sometimes be a pain in the ass. My goal is to get out as much as I can next Spring and Fall, which I think are the perfect time for searching and shooting abandoned properties.

When I came upon this back door to enter, the stench of skunk decided for me, that I would not be venturing inside. There is no way I was risking being sprayed this far away from home. What a ride home that would have been! I think I need to start carrying a garbage bag and a change of clothes with me cause being sprayed by a skunk is very possible with this hobby.

As you can see, the skies were absolutely amazing that day.

This is what I can tell you. The original owner of this land purchased same from the railroad in 1893. He attempted to sell the land in 1901 but the sale fell through. The land was then purchased by Mr. M in 1910 by “quit claim deed” and same was farmed by him and then his sons. Mr. M farmed the land and worked at the local post office until 1906 when his son Finlay took over this half section of land while his other son took over the other half. It is said that this house was built shortly after Mr. M acquired the land. At one time there was also a barn but that is no longer there.

Our trip to this small town to see this little house was certainly worth it. Thanks neighbor.


I visited this house a few years ago but while cleaning and sorting through my abandoned stuff I found more information which I had to add.

Established in 1881 this house was built by the son whose Father was known as the Father of Boissevain. George Morton was a very successful man and was considered a “prime mover” in the development of the town of Boissevain. In fact, the RM was named in his honor.

His son Lewis built this beautiful home with “Turtle Mountain” lumber in 1881 in an effort to provide a sturdy shelter for his wife and family. He built the house himself using poplar lumber, some of which was milled at his Father’s sawmill at Lake Max. The inside was plastered throughout with a durable mix of sand, lime and horsehair, a covering that gave considerable resistance with the home was renovated in the 40’s. The cedar shingles which are still intact were shipped from Ontario.

To keep the place clean, the walls were papered frequently, often using newspapers. The walls were also wrapped in burlap. This house was the first in the area to have a bathtub and sink installed.

Lewis and his wife raised 17 children in this home. The house was often filled with friends and family where their loved of music was shared.


One afternoon while on a tour to photograph two other houses on my to-do list, I decided to take a different way home. It was worth it.

I came across this old house that was just about to be leveled. In fact, the man working there, whom I asked for permission to take a couple photos said that I was a couple days late because he had already taken down numerous outbuildings.

Herb and his wife lived on this farm with Herb’s brother who last his wife many years ago and was of ill health.

The brother enjoyed carpentry and working on equipment.

I am sure that this old home is an Eaton’s Catalogue home. I did a quick search of the internet but wasn’t able to find anything like this one but it is similar to others I have found.

I sure enjoyed my little ride through this area and was able to shoot another home and find one that I need to go back to.


I just knew I had to go back to this house for another look. When I visited the first time the grass was really high and it was really hot and the sky was crap!

I called the landowners and Mr. was happy to let me head back out for a couple free photos. He was more worried about me wandering around during hunting season so I was sure to put on my colorful snowmobile jacket so I wouldn’t be mistaken for a deer.

The sky wasn’t ideal again but I figure, this is a short drive from home and maybe over the Christmas holiday I’ll catch it with a beautiful sunset.

This is a beautiful home, no matter why the weather or the sky. The landowner protects this home well and I really don’t blame him.

Also on the land is a neat old barn. I wandered over there again because it was hard to shoot the last time I was there for the grass and the leaves. Its so over grown that you really can’t get a good shot of it.

This must have been quite a home in its prime. I know, I say that a lot.


Once a thriving small town, Froude is now the home of 3 residents. All that remains are some abandoned and crumbling buildings. Oh and some cows. I spotted the church steeple while heading to Wilcox and pulled in. There was much more to photograph but I was anxious to see Colton and plan to visit this abandoned town again. Its is reported that Froude’s population peaked in 1920-21 when 200 citizens lived in the town but the town struggled over the next few years to maintain a steady population.

Froude was named for English Historian James Anthony Froude, a historian, biographer and the editor of Fraser Magazine. His controversial style resulted in him earning a number of outspoken opponents. He was well known through the British Empire but never visited Canada or the the town which was named after him. Established in 1908, Froude once a had a booming economy and a variety of businesses including the Canadian Pacific Railway, two grain elevators, two telephone companies, a bank, general store, a blacksmith and the church.

When I pulled into the town I wasn’t expecting to find more than the church. I was sure this was an old house but now I think it first served as the Froude Trading Post and later the post office.

Aside from the cows, all that remains is the long grass of unkempt yards and old, collapsing buildings, a couple old vehicles and this church.

It keeps a vigil over the few residents, and the old homes and buildings that house the memories of what was once a prospering prairie town. This is as close as I was willing to get to the church as their were LARGE dog like tracks in the fresh snow. I don’t know if I’m more afraid of dogs or open wells. The Froude Presbyterian Church was built in 1921. In 1974 an attic fire destroyed the church but the remaining residents of the town worked to have it rebuilt. The church closed in September of 1981. Not long after one more wedding was held in the church and its been closed ever since.

Close to the church was this old truck. There were some other vehicles parked there but this one really caught my eye.

One interesting fact I did find was the story of 16 year old Jack Yateman. Boy Scouts were popular for the young men of Froude and Jack was awarded the Bronze Medal, the highest award to be given to a Boy Scout. Jack saved the live of his drowning patrol leader, E. Fox, during a swimming incident at a Scout camp at Bear Lake.

Froude, yet another reason why I think I need to move to Saskatchewan.


Many moons ago I visited this old house. The landowner and I chatted a little while about the house and if I recall correctly, it has been vacant since the 1970’s. I recall we had a long talk about wells and how I shouldn’t be concerned as anything on this land had been covered. What she didn’t warn me about were the MILLIONS (I might be exaggerating a bit) of wasps that had made their home in the south side wall. There were so many of them that you could hear them buzzing outside the house.

Once we made our way in you could see them flying around the kitchen. I didn’t go upstairs but they were quite active up there as well, according to my exploring partner.

Anyways, long story short, I went back a few weeks ago because I recalled there was an old car on the edge of the property which I didn’t photograph. Back then, the cars didn’t interest me at all.

So even though I was given permission all that time ago, I called the family again and of course they had no issue with me going back onto the land. What they didn’t know what that there was actually a car there. I’ll be sure to send them some photographs of it in the New Year.

There’s not much left of this old car. The inside is gone and there were no markers or badges on the outside. Cade and I were able to find something inside the car which identified it as a Mercury Monarch. Further investigation by super sleuth hubby came home and let me know the Monarch was only sold in Canada.

I’m glad I went back and got at least a couple shots. The sun was just starting to set and I desperately wanted to get two other properties photographed before I ran out of light.


From the highway I could tell there was some sort of vehicle down in the field on this route that we don’t travel often. I put it on my to-do list but never seem to get to it.

I made my way there in the Spring while I was checking out some other spots but the field lane in was wet and the crop was just starting to shoot up so I decided it would be best to put this off, yet again, until the Fall.

There were no distinguishing markers on this car so we made our way through the willows to find some sort of badge or marker. It was determined it was a Dodge. The inside of this car is melted out. I’ll make the assumption that over the years this field has been burnt down in the Fall and this has led to the glass, steering wheel and the inside of this car to be melted down.

Needless to say, a decent shot was hard to achieve and because the car was really overgrown, you couldn’t get anything good except a peek-a-book sort of shot. Honestly, I can’t even tell you if the wheels were still on the car.

There was was also a piece of an old farm implement close by, a stove and this.

Of course the color of this heap of metal gives it away but it was only a small piece of a bus.


In the short amount of time that I have spent in Saskatchewan and after my latest trip to see Colton, I am now convinced that Saskatchewan is where I need to be. Given that the province has a stretch of highway that spreads across its borders that has been dubbed “Ghost Town Trail” is enough for me. I drove a stretch of this highway and only stopped at a couple places.

On my way home on the Monday, I did decide to take Highway 1 home so that I could make this stop. I haven’t been successful on finding any information on the internet but was able to find out a little bit from a blog post by a fellow explorer.

It is believed that the local First Nations people that traveled through this area named it Summerberry because of its abundance of berry bushes that they found in the area during their migration. On their summer travels they would stop here to pick berries which was an important supplement to their diet.

Pulling in to town I did note that there was at least one, maybe two homes, that appeared to be occupied. As you drive down towards the tracks, it becomes more and more apparent that there is no one else there, but them. The town is well maintained.

People were said to start settling in Summerberry in the early 1880s. The rail line was built through the settlement in 1882. This tractor and a threshing machine are one of the first things you see as you head down the hill towards the tracks.

The stone school was built in approximately 1907 and 85 students enrolled in grades one through ten. They shared two classrooms on the first floor while the second floor was used for concerts and dances as it had a large auditorium. In 1922 when the school introduced grades 11 and 12, they took over the second floor.

Declining enrollment forced the high school to close in 1965 and the following year, the school closed for good. If you look closely, you can see the fire escape slide on the left side of the photo. Yes, a slide. When I photographed it I thought this was maybe added on after the school closed but in fact, it was placed there when the school was built, in case of a fire on the second floor.

In 1972 the village lost its status and became an organized hamlet under the RM of Wolseley. By 1982, Summerberry had only a “handful” of residents. The grain elevators were still in operation, but no other businesses existed. In 1985, the elevators closed and were demolished a few years later.

I would have liked to wander around a little while longer but I was alone and I wanted to get home before dark. I could see many roofs and farms from where I stood and there were a couple of interesting old vehicles parked in the town. I do hope to go back one day.

I found this old place on the way out and I will say, it kinda creeped me out. And that doesn’t happen often. I guess being alone didn’t help. I never got out of the car here and only snapped a couple of photos.

I also found this big beautiful home. If I had an exploring partner I likely would have gotten out of the car and had a look around. I guess I really do need to go back to this old town.


I don’t know who in our small town started this but whomever you are, thank you.

While my kids are all grown up, we enjoyed a walk through the trails and left some treats of our own for the young kids that hopefully get out to enjoy the warm weather we are all enjoying.

While out yesterday we came across a lot of families. It was nice to see people out and about and hear the kids laughing and enjoying their finds.

Along the trail we found a decorated tree showing the start of the trail and then lots of candy canes and tinsel along the way.

So, whomever you are, that thought of this brilliant idea to get people out in this beautiful weather and to lift people’s spirits in this unprecedented time, thank you.


I found this online the other day and knew I had to post it. This explains why so many people immigrated to Canada and the prairies from Europe.


One afternoon during dinner (lunch), I was scrolling through Facebook and had a notification. My neighbor Kristine tagged me in a post. The post was for these old cars listed for sale. Kristine thought she would tag me in case I wanted to photograph them before they sold and I’m very thankful she did.

By the time I got home from work, two of the cars had been sold and were being moved that weekend. So Cade, Makenna and I headed out there.

The current owner of these cars owns a beautiful stone home, which they still live in, on the land her ancestors purchased some time ago. They are moving in the spring and she asked me if I would come back and take photographs of the house and the farm as a keepsake.

I told her I would love to and that I would be back in the summer time to capture her family farm.

One of the cars was sold to a friend of a friend who plans on using the car as a photography prop.

My shooting time was limited as we had a little bit of a drive after work and we had to beat the setting sun.