GRAHAM HOMESTEAD

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

BUBO SCANDIACUS

This Snowy Owl, which I have been referring to as a “he” in all of my other postings is actually a “she”.  How do I know this?  The male Snowy Owl is mostly white while the female has more flecks of black in its plummage.

Cade, Makenna and I were out and about, touring around for houses that I had permission to shoot.  We pulled up to my final stop of the day only to discover that I would be soaked and covered in mud after getting through the ditch and then across the section of land to the house.  Cade started to drive around the section of land to see if I could get in easier, from another angle.  While driving around and contemplating just making the trek to the middle of the section Cade spotted this Snowy on the pole.

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I got my camera ready, lens extended and Cade slowly turned the car so that I could roll down the window.  I thought for sure I’d get it on the fly, the shot would be blurry and I would be pissed.  She didn’t move.  In fact, she wouldn’t turn her head and look at me.  I started to make noises and whistle.  I walked some distance and was pretty much under her when I got this shot.  I wanted her to fly.  She finally did and it wasn’t until we were driving away and I went through the shots that I found this.

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This was worth my numb fingers and sore shoulder from carrying my 600mm and trying to support it and hold it still in the wind.

Once she flew away I figured our photo shoot was done for the day but nope, she landed on an old fence post off in a field, not out of reach of my lens.  At this point, Cade had to drive back to get me, I had followed her that far by foot.  And of course, I didn’t have mitts and my hands were frozen.

We ended our session with this.  Cade figures this should be framed and displayed in the house as well.

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If I were to have this printed, I may crop it a tad.  What a day.  This is exactly why I bought this lens and I’m sure happy I did.

 

1900 CENTURY FARM

The H family came to Manitoba in the Spring of 1890.  The family settled in the area, his wife and 6 children.  In 1900 one of his young sons married, during a double wedding ceremony, with his sister and both settled on different sections of this land.  The siblings lived out their lives farming as neighbors on this section of land in the heart of Boissevain-Morton.

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The son played a role in the organizing of the East Lynne School District in 1904.  They belonged to the Ninga Methodist Church where Mrs. played the organ.

Water was always an issue on the farm.  Water was hauled in barrels from another section of land.

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In fact, one year on a hot July day Mr. had been working hard for days breaking sod and took a drink from the nearby slough.  He ended up with typhoid fever and was bedridden for weeks.  Luckily his sister-in-law was a newly trained as a nurse and nursed him back to health.

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In 1938 the government paid for a 120 foot long by 60 feet wide and 14 feet deep well.  The farm never saw a dry day after that.

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They were kind and generous people who in 1931 adopted a six year old boy.  The boy was only to stay with them for a couple days.  He became an integral part of their family.  He joined the World War II and returned home in 1945.  He unlike his siblings moved to the Virden area while the rest stayed in the area.

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Mr. suffered a major heart attack in 1941 and was not able to work again.  He passed away in 1952.  Mrs. passed away in 1968 at 91 years of age.

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Two of his children then took over the farm until 1971 when they passed on the farm to their Grandson.

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BROWN LEA SCHOOL

The Brown Lea School District was established in August 1886 and the first classes were held in 1887. The original building was replaced by a wood frame structure built in 1902 by contractor A. King. The school closed in January 1967 but a vacant building remains on private property.

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Over the years there were 59 teachers and 220 pupils that attended the school.

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Teachers at the school were paid an average of $35.00 per month.

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The land for the school was purchased $5.00 and the school cost approximately $400 to build.

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This second school house was built in 1902.