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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I think I’ve used this title before. I spotted this house on the way home from Wilcox. Can’t tell you anything much about this home. I did request the books for the library but I haven’t received them yet. So this will be one of those picture posts.
At 13, John ran away from Ireland to England. From there he stowed away on a cattle boat to Canada. When he was discovered, he worked to earn his passage until he arrived in Ontario. He soon found work with a stone mason and continued to work in this trade. He married his Mrs. in 1874 and had 4 children. One of their son’s passed away and the tender age of 7. In 1885 the family moved to Peotone, Illinois but came back to Canada in 1887.
John chose this piece of land to settle on and immediately began to build a home using wood hauled from the Turtle Mountains.
While John made money doing masonry work in the area, his son and wife broke 14 acres of land with an ox, horse and walking plow.
In 1897 a prairie wild fire threatened the homestead but Mrs. & her daughter were able to safe the home by dumping water on the grass all around the house. They did lose the barn, a bull, pigs and some chickens. John then built a stone barn with a sod roof.
In 1913 John was killed when he was ran over by a pony on the streets in Waskada, MB. The family moved away from the farm for a couple years while William learned the ins and outs of farming from his uncle. William, his mother and sister, Annie moved back in 1916. In 1935 Mrs. and her daughter Annie moved back to town. There Mrs. spent hours quilting for her grandchildren as well as carding wool and spinning it into yarn to make mitts for her family & friends. Mrs. passed away in 1941 at the young age of 81 years. At that time Annie moved back in with her brother but passed away 13 years later.
The family has said that this was a place where many memories were made. At one time there were 27 people on the farm for a whole week where they slept on the floor and even in the barn loft.
Cade spotted this farmstead on our tour of the far Southwest corner of the province last April. The sky was amazing, the weather was beautiful. These photos were taken from the road and were not on our to see list.
The first recorded landowners of this property do not make mention of this land. Born in England, the family immigrated to this area in 1890.
I did find a photograph of the family taken in 1900.
The second recorded land owners came to Canada in 1921 when they decided that the freedom in Canada appealed to them. They packed up what they could carry and escaped Russia. They walked all night with their 4 children, two of which were under the age of two, and had to be carried for most of the journey. They arrived in Latvia and made the journey to Canada. They settled in Alameda, Saskatchewan and in lived there until 1937. Shortly after that they settled on this property.
I will make the assumption that they second recorded land owners did build this home and the land remains the property of the family.
The family started their farming career with several hundred cows. In 1979 they switched back to grain and mixed farming which was what Mr.’s father did when he farmed the land.
This property was conveniently located right at the edge of the highway and I didn’t even get out of the car to take these photos. I found this farmstead in Manitoba on my way to see Colton back in October, 2020.
I found this one this past Spring while out searching for other locations. Close to the road, we stopped so I could take a couple shots.
More intriguing than this house, which I cannot confirm anything about, were the eagles flying around. I actually stopped taking photos of the house to get the Sigma lens but of course, they were too far away and I couldn’t get any decent shots. As much as I love photographing wildlife, I truly don’t have the patience to sit and wait. I need to work on that.
The first recorded owner of this land was recorded in 1897. While I can find some information about this family coming to the area around that time, I cannot confirm that they actually purchased this land.
The second recorded owner of this land purchased it in 1981 but again, I cannot confirm anything. There was a large quonset on the property and several bins. In front of the house were a couple of old window air conditioning units.
Last year at this time, on a beautiful winter day, I headed out to this house. Of course I had numerous stops on my journey and by the time I got there my feet were soaked and it was windy as all get out. I couldn’t work up enough nerve to get close enough as there was a slew around the house and I wasn’t brave enough to try the driveway. I took some long exposure shots but I left knowing I had to have a better look. So I waited until I could take Cade with me.
There isn’t much there but it is an interesting design.
Built up on a hill with a long drive ride up to the side of the home, I would imagine it was a pretty good location as it is close to a major highway.
When I called back in the Summer to get permission to go back, the landowner told me that her Granddaughters used to love playing in the old house and would camp out in it.
The grass around the house is very long but Cade took the lead and walked around the whole house for us to pack down a trail (I’m scared of wells). I sure am happy that I went back for a closer look and some better photos.
Mr. & Mrs. K migrated to this area in 1882. Born in 1852 and 1860, under the direction of her brother, arrived in Virden, Manitoba. Here they met Mr. Drysdale who brought them to their land. In 1887 Mrs. bought a neighboring section of land in 1887 from an early homesteader.
The couple raised two boys on this land. Their oldest boy was said to be an avid baseball player in 1903 and 1904 and the family would travel by horse and buggy.
The family farmed for a living and it is said that Mr. drew his first wheat to Souris. This was a 4 day round trip.
The home was well-known as a stop over place for travelers. These travelers were said to put their horses in the barn and knew which room was available to retire in. So even when the family was away, these travelers would make their way inside and retire before they countined on their journey. The family would find out who their visitors were when they came down for breakfast the next morning.
The eldest son of Mr. & Mrs. K was Charles married Nellie who immigrated from Scotland. Two son’s were born of this union. Charles continued to farm his fathers land while his brother married and bought his own land. The brothers continued to work together. Charles sat on the board of directors for the Dalny Pool Elevator. Charles was also the first person in the area to own an automobile which they purchased in 1909. Charlie & Nellie eventually moved to Winnipeg where Charlie became a mechanic. They eventually retired to Vancouver. Charlie passed in 1968 and Nellie in 1982. One of their son’s joined the R.C.A.F as a mechanic and their youngest son moved to California and became a real estate agent.
The next family to own this land doesn’t have any recorded information about their time on this farm.
We visited this house back at the start of Covid. The weather was amazing for mid-April (my sister’s birthday to be exact.) This was another day when we were trying to get somewhere and kept spotting more and more roofs as we went. From the clouds you will likely be able to figure which houses were also shot on this beautiful Spring day.
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.
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.