A few weeks back we were out and about as a family driving around when I realized that my husband has a talent for spotting houses, houses that I didn’t even notice.  He found two of them that day, this being one of them.

I took a roadside shot and then came home and contacted the landowner for permission for a closer look.


I often rely on my Canon SX60 HS for those long difficult shots that the DSLR and my 300mm lens just can’t get without lens shake or some sort of distortion.  The point and shoot captured this home perfectly and honestly, I didn’t get a better shot when I returned.

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My son joined me on this adventure but didn’t get out  of the car to explore with me.

This is also another home that I couldn’t find a whole lot of history about.  Argh!

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The first recorded landowner was of Irish Decent and born in 1856 in the Township of Landsdowne, Ontario.  He had one daughter from his first marriage.  He married for the second time in 1885 and came to Manitoba in 1889 as per the individual recorded family history.  The history that I find on this property gives two dates for the purchase of this land.   The RM’s records list a date of  1912.

WHC settled into farming in Manitoba and the first land he broke was 17 acres.  Unfortunately it wasn’t until the 3rd year that the family would see a crop.  The first was frozen and the second was damaged by hail. When he wasn’t farming, WHC did carpentry work for others.

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WHC and his second wife had 3 children.  He passed away accidentally in 1911.  Mrs. passed in 1928.  One of their sons farmed the home land with his wife until 1937 when they retired to Boissevain where he did carpentry work and was an appliance repair man.

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You truly could not get a bad photo of this house.  The skies were incredible on my second visit and to be completely honest, I shot in auto mode all day and was 100% satisfied with all the shots I took.

While I cannot confirm who built this home and who lived in it when,  I do know that WHC’s son sold the property to the second recorded landowner in approximately 1945.  When he passed away his nephew bought the property and now farms the land surrounding the home, outbuildings and what is left of the barn.

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I would have loved to have seen this barn when it was standing.  I would assume with the carpentry background of father and son, it was likely well built and quite amazing.




Originating from Devonshire, England, William John (1891 – 1966), along with his father and siblings, followed older brother Samuel to Manitoba. Their mother and sister passed away before the family could be reunited.

After settling in Southwestern Manitoba, W.J. fell in love and married a girl from Chicago.  He bought this property in 1912 and in 1914 after he was married it was here that W.J. and Maude raised their 4 children, 3 girls and one boy. Their grandson’s would later take over the land and farm here until it was sold to its current owners.  The home was rented out but eventually became a hangout for kids in the surrounding town

Will was part of the Oddfellows Lodge and Maude was a Rebeka, a group of women who cared for the elderly in the community.  They were also a musical couple.  Will played the piano and Maude played the violin.  They formed the Sunday School Orchestra.  When I first laid my eyes on this piano last Spring it was in much better condition, even though its been sitting on this somewhat sheltered veranda for many, many years.  In the last year the cover has been removed from the keys exposing it to the harsh elements of Manitoba’s weather.

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The couple loved gardening and had a variety of shrubs, trees, fruit trees and gardens.  People were known to visit the property in the summer time to see the yard and enjoy the beauty of the families yard.  Although the property has been abandonded for many years, you can see the variety of plants and shrubs around the house as well as the beautifully treed driveway leading up to the house.  You just know that the yard was beautifully landscaped.


I have written about this home in the past and I go back often.  I truly do love this old place and I’m sure this won’t be the last we see of it for as long as I am out and about touring the countryside looking for old places to photograph and then searching its history.  When I found out more of the history it gave me the perfect excuse to go back and shoot it again.  This time I walked up the long winding driveway, something I would have never done before because the house is well secluded and jumps out you when you see it for the first time.








This home is tucked away in the trees just off the highway. Behind it was a bigger home.

I can’t tell you anything about it. At first I thought this was a school but as I got closer it was most definitely a home. Maybe, as the family got bigger, they built a bigger home behind this one.


This school district was organized formally in July, 1885.

The school closed in 1967 and the remaining students went to a nearby school.

The original school building is still on the land but after closing down was converted to granary with this monument.

You can see from this photo that the windows have been boarded over and the front entrance has been moved.


While Reg goes along with me to shoot houses, his true passion is the farm equipment and old vehicles.  He knows that I go home and I start researching to find out the history of the home with the hopes that I can find some connection in the town history books and word of mouth and through what we are told from landowners when we ask for permission to enter upon their land and photograph their buildings.


I found out this week that this was in fact a house, a very small house.  The family divided the rooms with cloth for privacy.


This small home was built in 1946 when Mr. R returned from the war.  He lived in the home with his wife for many years.

And I was right when I assumed that the home had been moved off the wood pile we found to where it currently rests.


And while it appears that today might not be a good day for me to try to wrap around my head around pages of family history, I can say that there is some relation from this home and the home of the unmarried lady whom took the bus to school with the kids once in a while.


My dear husband and son found this place for me a couple weeks ago on their way fishing.  After a quick phone call I was granted permission to have a look and received an invite to check out another place when I had time.


The home is now in the middle of a pasture and on that day we were visited by a very vocal mare.


Behind the home was a large body of water that was likely a source of water for cattle and now, the mare.  I was told by the current land owner that his friend lived her and was actually knocked into this water by his bull, knocked out cold and drowned.


We did find an old barn and a piece of old equipment which was really neat.


This was a neat old machine.


I really liked how the setting for your different grains was attached right to the machine for your easy reference.


I have done some searching on this family and the property but have come up empty handed.  I won’t stop though and if I do find more info, I will be sure to add it.




Remember the little boy that rushed to the school to sit with the teachers until dismissal?  Well this is the school.


Built in 1883 on the SW corner of his parents property for $843.00.  They collected a further $10.00 for benches as well as a heating stove for $9.00, 22 lengths of pipe for $0.18 cents each, a broom for $0.35, a box of chalk for $0.30 and desks for $8.50 each.


Church services were held in the church starting in 1884 until 1915.


As the nearby village grew, it was decided that the Riverside School should be moved to its current location in 1902.  In 1904 a storm prevented the children from getting home that evening and they were stormed stayed until noon the following day.

Changes to the school happened over time and in the summer of 1912 metallic shingles were put on the roof.  The inside walls were changed from tin to wallboard and wainscoting in 1936.  In 1951 electricity was installed.  An oil burning furnace was added in 1953.


The last teacher employed was Aggie Jean Martin in 1956 where she was paid approximately $215 per month.  The school, like many other small, one room schools in small communities were the centre of activity where they would hold dances, card parties or box socials.  The school closed in 1956.




I know I’ve mentioned the Long River many times before, for many reasons.  First off, it runs along behind my house and it runs through many farm yards through this Municipality.


Well with the lack of rain this summer it got very low and began to stink, bad.  Then we got rain and snow and so it began to turn green.  So green that it reminds me of a Shamrock Shake from McDonald’s.  Its disgusting.  I stood out on the highway and played with my settings to try and capture the actual color of the water.  I gave up and maybe I’ll go back because it really is a sight to see.


The Long River flows right into Killarney Lake!  Yuck.


This one had me stumped.  Until today.  So now I will edit it.

This land was owned by a bachelor who left home at 12 years old for bigger and better things.  He was determined he was going to make it big.  He left his large, poor family with .90 in his pocket.  He worked his butt off to make ends meet and eventually bought this 1/4 section of land which he broke by hand.  He raised animals and worked hard and eventually built himself a log home.

When he started to get older and the work became to much he asked his brother for help.  Eventually a local minister and a small chapel was built on the land.  Living quarters on the main level with a small post office in the corner and a chapel upstairs.  A general store and blacksmith shop were in the works and when the railway was built the decision was made to move the chapel to Dunrae.

This small cemetery is located in the middle of a farmer’s 1/4 section, marked off by poles which holds approximately 30 graves, most of them unmarked and some of them with bare wood crosses.


I am told that this particular cemetery was marked by the local Knights of Columbus group.


A small town site was in the works for this property but the building of the railway changed all this.  That is why there are two cemetery’s in the area.


This cemetery is also in a farmer’s field but its not smack dab in the middle of one and its closer to a church.

The headstones at first St. Felix Cemetery were not easy to get to.  There were not as many markers there as there were names on the plaque and there were many deep holes in the uncut grass where the stones were.  We were able to get closer to a couple of them.


The grass was really high which made it hard to see the stones that were lower to the ground unless you could get closer to them and move some of the tall grass away.


Some of them were the traditional stone and there were a couple made of iron.


Others were just wood crosses that may have been marked with a name but has weathered over time.


Some of these graves have been here before the 1900’s.


This school in the RM of Prairie Lakes  opened its doors in 1982 and closed permanently in June of 1972.


This is what the building looks like now in 2018.


The school is nestled on a little hill in the middle of a farmer’s field.  If your looking far and wide and in the right area, you will see it.


Miss A.L. MacLachlan was the first teacher at this school was paid $35.00 a month for her term position.  She was given 5 months training to become a teacher.


History surrounding the story of this school tells that the schools first concert was a huge success and in fact, so many people attended the concert that there was no room inside the building and parents and town people watched the concert through the windows from their horse carriages up against the side of the building.


Due to a drop in students registered at the school, the school closed for a period of time from Fall of 1939 to 1943.

The school held district social events, dances, card parties and concerts.

Unfortunately we were denied permission to enter this property so road shots it is.  I’m sure I’ll be back as the backdrop is spectacular.


One morning Reg was given permission to enter this property and because neither one of us had anything planned, we went.


The family originally came from Gloucester County, England in 1901 and farmed on different land in the same RM.

In the winter of 1909 the one time land owner and his love traveled to Belfast, returning to Canada in the Spring, married.  They had 4 children, the oldest which passed away at the age of nine.

In 1919 Mr. bought a Model T car.  When I came home and read this, I was thrilled to find this connection.


We found many treasures out and about on the property.

It appears that this at one time was the homestead at one point and then was later converted to a barn of some sort.  To the left of the house was a concrete foundation with no house which I am assuming was moved to another location.


I found this old cart which I absolutely loved and took many, many photos of.  I can envision same in my flower bed in my back yard.


We also found two wells on this property.  One between the two houses which didn’t appear to be very deep and was set up higher.  In the “Dry Thirties” this family sought out land that had water and eventually rented land in another location because of the good water supply there as they had been hauling it from another location.


The two brothers farmed together until 1942 when the youngest joined the R.C.A.F returning to farm in 1946.  At that time, through the Veteran’s Land Act, he purchased this property.  His brother had land nearby and they worked together, again.  The boys mother lived with them until 1955 when she passed at the age of 73.

The land owner was a trustee for the RM, was the council representative for the local library and attended meetings for library meeting at the request of the Provincial Librarian.  He was also on the Executive for our local Royal Canadian Legion Branch.



I don’t know much more about this land except that it was farmed by two bachelors and is now rented out to another local farmer.


I love this photograph for its simplicity, I think.



As per my previous visit, this homestead is also part of the same family, except they were brothers and ventured off in the same countryside farming different sections of land.


In 1899 the parents of this family came to Manitoba to farm this particular section of land.  Their son followed in 1892 by railway cattle car, caring for the stock he was bringing with him.

The stunning home was built in 1901 with the help of his brothers using “native stone”.  They used a kiln which was erected on the property.


He married in 1902 and him and his wife raised 5 children in this home.


The property still has  much of the old farming equipment there, some of it in excellent condition and well cared for over the years.


The yard and home are immaculately kept as the family still farms the land and spends much time here.  In fact, many of them were there the day we came, farming.  It was nice to hear the stories and get the history.


I enjoyed my visit to this farm and thanked the current owner who granted us permission the night before for his time and his history lesson.


I found this house a while back while cruising the back roads with my family.  I stopped for a  side of the shot and the intentions to get home and find the land owner.



This farm has been in the family for many, many years.  This family originated in 1824 after an 11 week voyage from Scotland.  In 1890 they decided to head to Manitoba.

A family of five was raised in this home and they farmed this quarter section and a half section across the road.  The only son of this family still owns and farms this land.

The home is starting to show its age and had significant damage in the kitchen area from the top floor.  There was also a soft spot in the kitchen which we avoided on the way out.


Here is the view out of one of their living room windows.  It was very smoky the day Reg and I went out shooting so a lot of our pictures that day weren’t optimal.


Each room had a different wallpaper.  Leading up the stairs the wood was lined with newspaper which I am assuming was used as insulation.  Reg made his way upstairs which was not the most stable second floor that we have entered.  He ventured up alone but knowing Reg he got some amazing photos out of those upstairs windows.


Many of the homes we’ve entered in the last month have had shoes inside.  Some have also still had the old rotary telephone.  For some reason I love this.


I really enjoyed this home.  It is a popular spot for other abandoned seekers in the area who do a lot of night shooting.  I knew they were there by the little battery operated lights scattered throughout the main floor of the house.


On our way out of this house I had a squishy step.  I stepped back to see that I had stepped on a 2×4, although thinking back I don’t think it was that wide, which was suspended over a hole.  Reg ventured over to see what the hole was about but didn’t offer me much feedback.  What I don’t know can’t hurt me right?  Regardless, I was skitish for the rest of the day.




This school is on private property and permission was granted for us to enter.


The school opened in 1887 and operated until January, 1968.


Richview School is the only original school built and still standing in the area.  When school started it was agreed upon that classes would run in the Fall, Spring and Summer as the winters were to cold and the school would need to be heated.  It was later agreed upon that the older children were needed at home during the summer and they decided to run school through winter.  The first student to arrive at the school in the AM was paid to light a fire.  The student was paid $0.05 per morning.


In 1939 this addition was made to the school to make more room for social activities.

In 1941 hydro was installed and in 1949 the basement was enlarged to hold a coal furnace.  In 1951 the Insul-Brick was added to help insulate the school.


The school bell was donated to the local museum and other items were donated to the new school including the fire extinguisher, text books, radio and a chemistry set.



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.


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


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


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


This second school house was built in 1902.


In 1919 the Bertha and Riverbank school districts united to build a church as a memorial for 4 men, Jack Fisher, Harry Hardwick, Harry Martin and Cecil Minary who gave their lives in the First World War.


Berbank Church served as a place of worship and creation until it closed in 1966.


The people of Berbank dedicated the plaque in front of the church to local pioneers and those who served in the First World War, Second World War, Korean War and Peacekeeping.


This church was also used in the movie, In the Moment starring Russell Crowe. The crew agreed to pay for the re-siding and shingling of the one side of the building they were going to use for the movie and the other half was paid for by the community.


Remember a while back when Reg, Colton and I found the “dead” birds in the upstairs of the abandoned house?


Well the last couple weeks there has been a lot of activity on the roof of the old house so today we were lucky enough to get a couple shots.


I don’t know if these are two of the young or Mom and one young but regardless we moved very slowly and ventured closer and closer until they finally figured we were to close and flew away.


Well, only one flew away.


Really neat to see them all grown up.  Hard to believe they were once tiny little fluff balls.



I know nothing about this house.  I know that fellow abandoned seekers have been to this location and have done some night shooting.


My shooting partner advises me that years ago a tornado came through this area and there’s a very good chance that this one may have been moved off its foundation.


If I do happen to find out more about this home, I’ll be sure to update my post.