BLUE ROOF

I seen a photo of this house a few years ago and wondered if one day I would spot it given its in my territory. I was thrilled when a fellow bando friend posted a photo of it and shared its location with me.

Even better, its on land owned by a friend. So Cade took me out to check it out. I would have walked in closer but the thistles were waist high and thick. This was close enough for me, although the other side and a peak inside would be cool. Maybe in the fall.

Downfall, no history. Can’t have everything, right?

ROADSIDE TREASURES

On the way home from a shoot last August, I found this along the way.

Why its taken me so long to blog, I do not know.

At the end of the day,difference because I cannot find any good history about this big, old beauty.

I never really know what I will find when I photograph an old property. I go and shoot everyything that catches my eye and sometimes I am lucky enough to make a connection to what I read. That is really why I keep doing this.

And sometimes I’ll be working on a history and find a connection to a property that I blogged months before. Its exciting to go back and add those interesting tidbits. Maybe, as I start to explore this area more, I’ll find something.

Regardless, I really liked this old house and the surrounding out buildings and I’m happy I took a detour home that day.

JOHN & LENA, CARL & RETA AND SO ON

John, from Beauharnois Country, Quebec and Lena from Emerson, Manitoba married in Killarney on December 29, 1899 and raised 10 children together on this land which John acquired in 1898. John earned an income to support his family by farming and running a hardware store in Neelin. He was also a carpenter. Lena was known to be a stern mother who instilled good values and principals. John passed away in 1937 and Lena in 1973.

In November of 1923, newly married Reta & Carl made their home on this land where they lived and raised their family. In 1966 the semi-retired to Killarney. The frugal couple raised two children on this homestead. Reta & Carl were the second family to own this homestead.

Carl & Reta, determined to make a living and “owe no man nothing”, worked from dusk till dawn to make a living and raise their children. It is said that Reta would do the work of a man and did things such as driving fence posts with a maul as heavy as herself. She broke horses, milked cows and raised chickens. She would support her family by trading milk, butter, chicken and eggs for food. If her grocery bill was more than she had in cash or trade, Reta would put the unneeded items away until next time. Reta & John would not hold a charge account. They prospered and made a good life for themselves and their children.

Upon Carl and Reta’s retirement, their son Glenn stayed on the farm and raised Aberdeen Angus cattle. He then raised four children on his own on this farm with his wife whom he married in June of 1955.

In 1982 Glenn and his wife purchased a family restaurant in Killarney while living on the home farm which he purchased from his parents in 1974.

This is a beautiful homestead. The house and outbuildings are very nicely treed in and its not far from your basic needs like food and gas. The homestead is no longer owned by one of the two original families.

BEING STRONG DOESN’T MEAN YOU WILL NEVER FALL DOWN

Back in June, 2018 (yes, 2018) I went out to this house. It was one of the first I got permission to photograph and I have gone back a few times since.

Back to that 2018 thing. I cannot believe that I have been doing this since 2018. Wow!

Anyways, here it is back then. The floor was giving out, the roof was caving in and the stairway was a mess. I did not step inside the home but I could get up to the windows and doors and see inside.

Today I went back. Mother Nature has had her way with this place.

DEVIL’S GATE AND CAPOTE

Remember this place? And the guy with the gun?

Back in February I received an email through my blog from the Granddaughter of the Baleja family, the second last owner of this property.

I learned that there was a second movie filmed on this property by the name of Capote which came out to the public in 2005. I haven’t looked it up but I will, one day. I was told by the Granddaughter that when Capote was filmed, film crews laid limestone on the roads in the area to make it easier to get their equipment down the roads. This is why the road is made up of nice black dirt.

She also told me that her Grandfather bought the property in 1947 from a local man. A search of the name by both of us came up empty handed. I have made a request to my local library to see what sorts of material they might be able to borrow from another location for me.

There is apparently a drainage ditch near the house (which I did not notice) which was enchanced by the RM and the City of Winnipeg, I’m assuming and is called Z dike. The purpose of the dike was to protect Winnipeg from the infamous Flood of the Century.

The house is actually two houses. One of the houses was brought in by the movie company in 2015. The orginal house in the tangle of houses was moved from the other side of the road and you can see that there is an old yardsite there. The purpose of bringing the two houses together was to give the house a creepy appearance. The current owner advised the Granddaughter that the inside of the house had cable supports inside to support the joining of the homes and/or set.

And the barn. What a sight. This house, when I first seen photos of it, were taken by my Winnipeg Bando friend, Lee. She loves this old barn. Well, the structures on the roof were added by Grandfather Baleja as was the granary on the front.

The Granddaughter also shared with me that when the old house was moved across the road to create the movie set, the current owner from an old bible. I never did hear back from her to see if she received a photograph of an inscription that was in the bible.

BUBBLE GUM SKY

Last night as I was trying to weasel into my bed with a book, Colton called me out to check out the sun. Glad he did. He figures he should get photo credits too!

Of course it dropped a lot faster than it usually seems to but that is only because I was struggling with finding the best setting for the shot.

PELICAN TOWN

I have driven by these vehicles hundreds of times. The kids at the colony have asked me to stop and take some photos. So finally I did.

Given that they are right out in the open and have some buildings beside them and behind them, I didn’t think I’d get any decent shots. Sometimes the best photos come from the opportunities you doubt most.

When I posted these photos on my Instagram account, Cade had no idea where I had found these as he is usually with me when I venture out now because I’m scared to go alone.

I am happy that the kids talked me in to it because I think they turned out pretty good.

When I texted them to one of the kids to see if they could identify them, they knew right away.

ST. PAUL’S ANGLICAN CHURCH

I seen this little church online and thought I’d stop by on one of our roadtrips. There wasn’t a whole lot to see here and I couldn’t find any info on it. I do not know when it was built or when the last service was held here.

The new resident pigeons didn’t seem to mind me taking some photos.

TRANS-CANADA TRUCKS

Its been awhile. Now that school is out for summer, I hope to find more time and motiviation to get out and do what I love. I can tell you I certainly enjoyed being off last Spring for covid because I was able to explore without all the tall grass. I’ve missed that window now.

Anyways, back in April, Colton came home for a long weekend. It was good timing as there was an outbreak at the college and more specifically, his dorm. He came home Tuesday and by Thursday that college called and told us not to bring him back on Monday. For weeks we waited to see if the college would go remote for the remainder of the year. They did at the beginning of March. So on May 15th, the college made arrangments for us to come to the school (the outbreak was finally over) and pick up Colton’s belongings. It turned out approximately 35 students and one staff member ended up with Covid, one being Colton’s roommate and his buddy across the hall. We left for Wilcox at 5:00 a.m. to arrive at our scheduled pick up time. I have to say that this was the first time I seen the inside of Colton’s dorm and his dressing room. We loaded the Jeep from the front seats to the back window with his stuff and headed home.

Along the way home I knew of this spot and because I was getting sleepy, I stopped to walk around and get some photos.

This was a busy little place. There were a handful of people walking around, there was a couple with a couple kids loading up a neat old truck that I’m assuming they had just purchased.

When I pulled in a lady with a BIG dog (cue in the reluctance to get out of my vehicle here) came to the Jeep and was more than willing to let me stretch my legs and take a couple of photos.

There were so many vehicles I wasn’t sure where to start. So I wandered around for about 10 minutes and just shot away.

One of my goals this Summer is to familiarize myself with Photoshop and Lightroom and start to play around with the final product of my photo. When I started this journey to blog and photograph more, I was adamant that what came out of my camera would be my final product. I don’t feel that way anymore because what I see isn’t always what my camera captures.

While shooting I was also thinking about what I could add to my display in Killarney in August. So that there was a little bit of something for everyone that might come across my exhibit.

A lot of these vehicles were parked fairly close together or had other vehicles parked behind them. This forced me to try some different angles. It was good.

So that is it. That is my gallery of Trans-Canada Trucks along the No. 1 highway. When we pulled out and headed back towards Manitoba, I realized that there was a whole other side full of vehicles but I know I’ll be back this way and I’ll do it next time.

HERON

Last weekend I went exploring and came across a group of herons at the lower basin of Pelican Lake, in a run off ditch which is typically full of water. While they were a bit spooked, they kept coming back so I was able to stop and take some photos.

I figured this was a good time to pull out that long lens that I don’t much like. And I suppose the truth is that I don’t know how to use it properly and need to commit some time to it. Regardless, these are two of what I thought were the best shots from that little trip. I am not completely happy with them as I feel I need to work on making them sharper. A trip to Whitewater Lake is definitely in my future.

GEORGE’S FAMILY

G.M., born in 1858 in Bourne, Lincolnshire, England. He was one of 18 children. His family was considered to be a family of upper middle class. George’s father worked for the Bank of England and his family had a number of servants. George’s siblings became doctors, lawyers and nurses but George decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and worked for the bank but later left it to work in the stock exchange. George was a long distance runner who won medals for winning 25 mile races. He was known to run everywhere he went. When economic hardship hit the family many immigrated all over the world to Australia, Africa, Argentina, United States and Canada. George was the only one to choose Canada. In 1880 himself a friend arrived in Manitoba. The family was not certain if George and Arthur were friends in England or if they met on their voyage to Canada. In fact, upon their arrival to Manitoba George and Arthur acquired land on the same section and having them also become neighbors for the rest of their lives. Upon his arrival in Manitoba George purchased 320 acres, 80 of which were under cultivation. His land was accessed to valued at $1,280.00. He was listed as having 7 horses, 5 cows, 1 pig and he was Protestant.

GM and his wife raised 6 children on this land including their son Thomas .

Thomas was born on this farm and lived there his whole life. Thomas was George’s eldest son.

The families first house was lost to fire in 1886. Thomas remembers that his mother, alone with his sister at the house, threw the bedclothes and other essential items out of the upstairs window while his sister dragged the items from the ground to safety. Thomas was upset that she didn’t throw the right items from the burning home including his new moccasins, from the burning home. After the fire the family lived with Mrs.’ parents until a new home was built. When Thomas was 13, his father, George passed away. Thomas quit school in grade 4 to help his mother run the farm. At that time, neighbor and good friend, Arthur moved to the farm and helped the family.

In 1913 Thomas took over the farm when his mother and all of his siblings, except 1, moved to Saskatchewan. Cousin Jack came from England to help but quickly realized the farm life wasn’t for him and returned to England.

In 1916 Thomas married Eva and together they raised their 4 children there.

They built their own home in 1929 and turned his parents home into a granery.

At the time Thomas planted the impressive shelter belt that surrounds the property today. Thomas and Eva, who was a teacher now farmed on what was referred to as a mixed farm with grain, cattle, horses and poultry. In 1950 Thomas acquired a couple hives but gave it up after Eva found him passed out after being stung. He gave up beekeeping at that time.

Thomas and Eva were active in their community, much like their son Art would later be.

In 1952 at the young age of 60, Eva became ill with an undiagnosed illness and passed away. Thomas remained on the farm with Art. Thomas passed away in 1977 at the age of 90.

Arthur who was born in 1921 acquired the farm from his father. Art married Jessie in November, 1954. He was very active in his community including the seed club, 4H, the local ball team. He served as a Director for the Co-Op for 16 years, a seed agent with the pool elevator for 20 years and helped start the local credit union, serving on the supervising committee. He held positions on the school board, community hall committee, cemetery committee and was a Director for the local lodge.

Art and Jesse retired from active farming in 1980 after Art suffered a series of heart attacks. They rented the land but remained to on the farm. In 1986 Art suffered a series of strokes which left him paralyzed and required around the clock care. Jesse remained at the farm until 1991 but was forced to stop driving due to her deteriorating eyesight.

This is a beautiful piece of land. It is nicely treed and the current tenants typically stayed to themselves when I arrived. You could hear them buzzing around but they didn’t bother me and I did my best to take my photos quickly and get out of there. I find it funny that after Thomas’ incident with the bees and his short lived job as a beekeeper, the bees are back on his land.

HOLMFIELD

Last weekend I drove out to Holmfield which is not far from us. I was searching for two old trucks that were tucked away in the trees when I was there years ago! I could not find them but I did find this!

I posted this photo on Instagram and it was featured. I regret passing by many of the old vehicles I’ve come across over the years.

HARRISON MILL AND GRAIN ELEVATOR

Many years ago I wrote about my afternoon in Holmfield wherein we wandered around this old mill and its outbuildings. Yesterday I went back to look for some old trucks and get a photograph of the old truck parked at the mill.

The Harrison brothers arrived in Manitoba in 1878. They built a mill in another location which was by-passed by the railway so they sold their mill and moved to this location.

The brothers were very successful operating a flour mill, a workshop and ran a lumber business at this location. The lumber business was phased out in 1972. The mill was first run by steam, then diesel engines in the 30’s and finally electrical current in 1947. The facility is believed to be the oldest mill in Western Canada.

The operation closed in the 1990’s and is still owned by the family.

BANK OF TORONTO VAULT

In 1919 the Bank of Toronto built a wood frame building. Inside the building was a solid brick structure with a heavy iron door. This structure served as the bank’s vault. Three years later the bank closed so the building was repurposed and used post office and then a residence. In 1991 the building was demolished except the vault, which is now a historic site in this small town. Inside the vault is a small desk and chair and a guest book for visitors. On top of the vault is the bell from the town’s school.

WINTER BREAK PHOTO SHOOT

If you have a kid in school, you know how terrible the school photos are. Well this year I refused. I would rather go without school photos than pay for the garbage I’ve been buying since the kids started school.

Well, Colton game home from Notre Dame with a package of that crap. Surprisingly they weren’t terribly bad. It was time to take Makenna out to get hers done. I had put it off long enough.

I wanted one without the toque, she wanted one with the toque. Here is mine. I wasn’t much enjoying the light and should have planned the shoot a little later on.

And the infamous Carhartt toque shot which was the one the family got.

EDITS

This past Spring I took the plunge and did a grad shoot for our neighbor. We moved here when this little girl was in Grade 1 and I was thrilled but terrified to take photos of her special day. We went out a few days before her actual grad. This was one of the more than 400 photos I took of her that night.

MY BOYS

I bought myself a new camera. I did not need a new camera but I wanted one. So a few weeks ago when it was balmy I thought I’d take it along and take some shots of the dogs. It is very similar to the one I had, one model up to be exact. It isn’t my dream camera but I’m not sure I’ll ever save up enough money for that.

Anyways, here are some shots of the boy on the Long River behind our house.

THE MCLEAN’S

I spotted this one on one of our many trips to Winnipeg this summer and finally stopped one evening to get a couple photos.

The first descendants of this family, namely Sam, arrived in Ontario, Canada in 1848 from Ireland because of the potato famine. The family moved to Manitoba and upon their arrival formed the district of Londesboro #114.

His Grandson Clifford and his wife would later obtain this land where their children were born, including their son George who was born in this home in 1931. He lived here with his wife Valerie for 61 years.

In 1992 their son and his wife moved to this farm but later moved their herd to another location.

I would love to find a photo of this home in its prime. I would imagine that it was quite grand. When I first pulled up to it, I wasn’t entirely sure that it might not be a school.

TUCKED AWAY

My fellow abandoned seeking friend Lee found this house a while back, very close to two that I had previously photograghed. I finally got out there this summer.

The property is very grown over and getting a good shot with all the foliage was really hard given all the broken trees and branches around the front of the house. The landowner wanted to be out there with me when I took the photos and it had been some time since she had been here herself. The home had never been lived in by her family and was purchased for farm land. She wasn’t able to tell me much about its history and a search of the property and original owners didn’t tell me anything.

While walking around we scared up an owl. She also told me that she would be willing to attend with me to some of her other properties that also have abandoned houses on them. We talked about doing that in the fall after the crops were off but that didn’t happen. We will shoot for Spring.

While we were out and about on the property she did advise me that for the longest time there was a boat near the house which is no longer there.

She assures me that the homes on her other land are far more exciting so I’m looking forward to getting out there to see what she has.

FORD MONARCH TURNED CHICKEN BROODER

Before Christmas I headed back to a property I had visited many years ago to photograph this old car.

When I called the land owner to get permission to head over there again, he told me he had no idea about an old car out there. He asked me if I could send him a couple photos of the house as it has been some time since he’s been to the property.

In late January I received a note back from him and he told me that this old car was used as a “chicken brooder” and he wasn’t sure if it had been used for transportation.