LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE

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.

KEEP GOING BACK

This is one of the first houses I photographed and one of the first houses I actually went inside of.

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I love this house.  So at least once a year I go back to visit it and see what’s changed.  I can’t believe how much its grown over since my last visit.

When I started taking photos of the old houses, I didn’t really focus much on the barns and other out buildings so because the skies were amazing that day, I did.

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This yard is still used for storage and there is a path leading out to a field.  The current landowner frequents this location often.

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According to my research, this yard that was known for its stunning flower gardens.  On our way out, we spotted a lone pink peony growing in the tall grass.  I had put all of my stuff away as we were traveling by side by side down the dirt roads so I didn’t want anything getting dusty.

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My daughter was very interested in this van and what happened to it.  I’ll have to do some asking around and find out for her.  I wonder if she would believe me if I told her that the accident was a result of texting and driving.

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And you may recall this little blue truck, from previous posts, although Mother Nature is really taking it over.

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I would LOVE to see a photograph of this house when it was in its prime.

SEEK AND YOU SHALL FIND

During the early stages of COVID, we were all eager for a day out of the house so we went house hunting.  I have to admit that I had plans to go a lot further than we did but it was so worth it and I have all summer to get to the edge of Manitoba to see what I need to see.

Along the way we made numerous stops that were not on my to do list.  My eagle-eyed husband just kept spotting things in the distance and so, we stopped I shot, we carried on.

This is one of them.  I cannot find any history on it so this is all I’ve got.  Honestly, I took two photos from the side of the road and carried on.  I don’t think I even got out of the Jeep to take this photo.

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MR. BEAR

James and his family originally immigrated to Canada to Cornwall, Ontario.  The 2nd of 12 children, James came to Manitoba followed by his two brothers and two sisters.  His sister married and from my understanding lived on this land with her husband.  I do not know if it was them that built this house, or her great-nephew, Donald when he acquired the land upon his marriage.  I can tell you that this family had five generations live and farm this land.  It has been in their name since 1893 and in the family, by relative, since 1883.

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The land, a well-wooded section of land was broken by steam engine and bush plow.  Throughout the property, trails were made for travel, via wagon.  In one of the wooded areas, on the way to the house, I did see what was left of an old wagon.

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There is a barn on this particular section.  I do know that the family built a barn that had a windmill built in the center, which supplied power to pump water.  Outside the barn, at any given time, had hundreds of bags of grain from neighbors, waiting to be ground.  Unfortunately, it was the same windmill that cause a fire in 1917.  A second barn was rebuilt in the same location.  From what I see, it makes perfect sense that the barn still standing there today, could be from the early 1900’s.

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James wife died in 1895.  With his young family in tow, he returned to Ontario.  He was homesick for Manitoba and returned with his mother who helped him care for her grandchildren.  In 1924 he drove his Model T to Victoria, BC and married his deceased brother’s wife.  His son took over the farm.

James son, Angus (also known as Angie) married Alice on November 30, 1914 and purchased this piece of land, which was at one time was owned by Alice’s uncle.

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Together Angie & Alice had 3 children.

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They lived on the farm for 30 years and upon their move their only son, Donald, born in 1916, on this farm, took over the farm from Angie and Alice.

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Donald’s son who was born in 1949, built a new house in 1974.  At the time Grandpa Angie was 86 years old and helped work on it with his Grandson.  The newer house and the original house shown above, remains standing on the property.

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The trails and shaded areas where the family once had family picnics remain.  Somewhere on this section of land there were even tennis courts.

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The current owners of this property live in a third house on the property and run their own farming operation here.  They have goats, sheep and cattle.  It was hard for me to take photos as I did not want to invade their space. I am thankful for them allowing me to photograph parts of their farm that is their home.

STRATFORD, ONTARIO

This was another property with not much history but as you can see, there’s not much there to report anyways.  With the skies, I had to stop a take a couple of photos.

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All that’s left is an old grainery and a shed of some sort.  It was a warm but very windy day when I ventured out on my own and I didn’t feel like trekking through the snow which was still quite deep at the time.

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LANCELOT

R.W. was born December 4, 1882 in Cumberland, Ontario and moved to Manitoba in 1886 when he was just 4 years old.  His Grandparents immigrated to Canada from Belfast, Ireland.

Roberta and Adealine

Upon arriving in Manitoba his father listed his worldly possessions as his wife, children (4 at the time), two horses, two colts, two cows and $7.00 in cash.  They knew their destination and settled in a one room 14 x 16 log shanty with a sod roof.  Within 4 years, 4 more children were born.  His wife was considered a frail woman.  At the age of 36 she developed a cough and died.

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Their son R.W. settled on this piece of land and in 1905 he married a woman from Fairfax.  Their home was said to be very welcoming and the door was always open, so much so that ministers and evangelists made it their headquarters.

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They lived first in a log house and then built this beautiful brick Eaton’s Earlsfield home which was later occupied by his Grandson and his family.

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When I first spotted this house from a mile over, pulling up I knew this had to be an Eaton’s home.  This is the 3rd one in my area that I have found.  This was Eaton’s most popular style.

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R.W. served on the local board for many years and was the chairman of the yearly local Christmas concerts.

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Mrs. died in 1947 and Mr. eventually re-married and moved to Calgary.  He passed in 1965.

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Their son, L.W. married a widow with four children.  Together they had a son of their own who went on to farm on the land.  L.W. married and together he and his wife had three children.

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Grandfather, son and grandson were all educated at the same school.

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HIDDEN BEAUTY

This beautiful home was built in the early 1900’s.

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Mr. M. came to Manitoba in 1899 and married Bella in 1890.  Both were from Ontario. Together they had 4 children but sadly lost one girl at just 3 years of age.

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My photograph above was taken before I seen the photograph of the family and house from the Municipality history book.  A fellow abandoned seeker, Lee, who also photographed the house just days before me, took a shot at the same angle.  The house is a magnificent sight and I was determined not to miss a thing.

east side of house

I was told by the present land owner that when he purchased the home more than 20 years ago, the home was in excellent condition.  Over the years people have attended the home and stripped the brick of the front of the house, removed wood trim from the inside and broke the windows.

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If you note the door on the second floor, from the other side of the house I could see the staircase that leads up there.  All of the wood banisters have been removed as has most of the wood trim around the doors and windows.  The lack of glass in the windows has caused extensive damage to the inside of the home and there are now large holes in the floor.  The owner asked me not to go inside the house so I only peered through the windows.

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There were many outbuildings on the property and a long stream flowed through the property.  The views from the home would have been spectacular at any time of the year.

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Mr. died in 1938 at the age of 77, 15 years after he lost his wife.  At that time, his youngest son, whom never married, took over the farm.  I am told that he lived in his own home across the road.  A friend asked his mother about the home and the family. She grew up in the small town near the home and she can remember them.  She remembers the son, a bachelor who wore a black top hat and smoked a pipe.

Years later when his sister lost her husband, he took her and her children in and eventually they moved back into this big, brick house.  When he retired in 1967 his nephew took over the family farm.

 

 

 

GHOST TOWN

This little ghost town has been on my must see list for some time.  Being stuck in the house for 3 weeks, Friday was the perfect day to get out and see something different.
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Gordon Phillips, a Mechanical Engineer and notable resident of Lauder, wrote in his book “The Rise and Fall of a Prairie Town”:  The town of Lauder did not come into being until after the arrival of the railroad in 1891. The first settlers however came into the district eight to ten years earlier. The first one to settle into the area was  Mr. W. J. Higgins.
The first post office for the district as established in the home of W. J. Higgins in 1884 and was known as the Melgund post office. Before that, people got their mail from Brandon or Souris by anyone who happened to make a trip there. It closed in 1889 but there were post offices in Hartney and again Lauder, after the railroad was built.   The first school was built and opened on July 11, 1884. It was named the Rose School, later renamed Melgund School. There were multiple schools built in the years to follow.
There are conflicting reports on the naming of the town. One report says that it was to be called Bradford and another that it was to be called Rochester. In any event, the C.P.R. named it Lauder after the Venerable Archdeacon John Strutt Lauder, Rector of Christ Church in Ottawa.
In March, 2019 June Timms reported as follows:  Lauder was very well established for many years, but it slowly began to dwindle as the farm population grew smaller as well as transportation evolved. There two factors are the main factors as to why many prairie towns became nearly extinct to this day.   To this day the Lauder Community Inn is the hub of the community for the Lauder area.  It serves all ages in a variety of different ways. It provides a Postal Outlet for the community which is well used and includes mail services for Maple Grove Colony close by and, with the increase in online shopping, has become an important means of receiving parcels.  We are able to use the “Inn” to hold meetings, Sunday School, crafting events, exercising, “leave a book, take a book” and enjoying recreational time. It houses a piano, pool table, meeting room, and coffee shop/convenience store. We are also able to enjoy the fellowship of lunches together a few times per week.
Though the population of the town of Lauder has dwindled to only four people, six people at certain seasons, the surrounding community continues to thrive. We have an enviable array of age groups, from young families, to senior residents, who have chosen to remain in the community.
The community also has a community hall, and a United Church that are still active and viable. We are proud to say that we are still able to operate a Sunday School which has about ten members currently. The hall is used for funerals, or funeral lunches and many other rentals over the course of the year.
Coming into the town, this was the first home we came across.  I have seen many photos posted from this town but I had no idea that this was right there, in this little place, surrounded by other things. And where others live. Like, Snowflake, Manitoba, except there is more here than there.
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The resident of this house was out sunning himself in the grass when we pulled up. When I got out of the car he took off so fast that he didn’t even touch one of the steps going into the house.  He was a large, tabby cat. The kids figured they were going to lure him outside and rescue him!

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I’ve seen photos of this truck and house many times but it was what was behind it that really caught my attention.

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A Studebaker.  What an incredible old truck.  Possibly 1948 to 1953.  I was told today that its likely a 1950’s.  The old vehicles don’t typically get me too excited but these two old trucks were in excellent condition.  So nice to see.  When I posted same on Facebook, one lady even replied giving the name of the owner of this truck.  So cool.

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 A short drive down the street revealed more abandoned homes but also a couple of occupied residences.  My son wasn’t happy about me getting out and taking photos but I assured him that the people that live in this town are probably pretty used to people coming in and taking photos of the old houses.  And I had no intentions of taking photos of homes or properties of the homes that are lived in.

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I’ve seen this house posted numerous times.  I would imagine it was very elegant in its time.  Its very treed in at the front and I wasn’t prepared to tresspass.

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This nice brick house was right across the street.  There were several old homes in this town and I could have photographed several more but only stopped for the ones that really caught my attention.

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I wasn’t going to stop for this house but did when I noticed the sign above the door.  The home of G. Ramsay.  Of course the first thing I thought of was Hell’s Kitchen.

If your interested in this kind of stuff, I really do suggest you make the trip.  I do hesitate to post the location of this town but I know that most people know where it is anyways. I just hope that everyone respects peoples property and belongings.