Oh, this has been a tough one to wrap my head around but, I promised myself that I would not go out and photograph more properties until I dealt with the ones I had already taken, so….

Born in 1853, Mr. came to Manitoba as a young man from Ontario and purchased this land in 1881 for both surface and mineral rights.  In 1892 he purchased the SW 1/4 with surface rights only.

This photo was taken back in December during the Christmas break.  Looking at this photo now, I am actually impressed with the quality given that it was taken from the road, with the 600mm lens, hand held.  I must have had steady hands that day!

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His wife Susan arrived in Canada in 1882.  She lived with her brothers around the Brandon area and then headed down towards Souris to live with another.  Soon thereafter she met Mr. and they married in 1884.

As a couple they went through all the trials of an early pioneer family.  They lost their home to fire in the early 1900’s and were forced to live with neighbors until their home was rebuilt.  In 1906 their lost their 19 year old daughter to Brain Fever.  Conditions that may now be described as brain fever include encephalitis, meningitis, cerebritis or scarlet fever.

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Mr. accepted a position as the secretary-treasurer for the RM.  He was also a police magistrate and would act as an arbiter and then Judge.  Often, infuriated citizens would enter his office only to leave as his friend.  Mr. was said to be a a wise man.  He was part of a committee who pledged to build the local community hall.  On top of that, he was also the secretary treasurer for the local school.

A staunch Conservative, Mr. suffered a stroke while at the polling stations in 1923 and later developed pneumonia.  He died on June 29th.  Mrs. went to live with her son until her death in 1947.

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I cannot confirm when this house was built, if this family ever lived in it or if it was the second owners of this land that built the home.

On the day I visited this property for the second time, it was windy and cold and I walked through sometimes knee high snow to get a better shot of this house.

I’m not sure that I won’t go back there again for yet another look.


James was born in Ireland in 1828.  In 1848 he immigrated to Ontario where he met Elizabeth.  They married in 1850.  Elizabeth is said to be the sister of Walt Disney’s Grandfather.  James and Elizabeth moved to Manitoba in 1889.    James was a wheelwright and Elizabeth wove carpets.  Together they had 10 children.

Their son John married Annie and together they had 6 children.  In 1902 they built their second home on this land, this stone home.  Before the family moved in, Annie painted the kitchen with a high gloss white enamel oil paint.  She died a few days later of lead poisoning.  This was a devastating loss to the family.  For many years their oldest daughther stepped in to help her father raise the younger children with the help of her aunt from Ontario.  In 1908 John remarried.

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In 1918 John and his second wife retired to the nearby town and John’s son Cliff took over the farm and the old stone home.  John helped Cliff on the farm and two years after his retirement, John was killed in a binder accident.

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In 1939 Cliff sold the farm and moved to Brandon where he worked as a carpenter and operated the Four Star Theatre at Rivers, Manitoba.  Cliff died at 62 years of age.

This beautiful field stone home still stands tall and was occupied up until a few years ago.  Rumor has it that the large home is very expensive to heat and decided to move.


Constructed between 1916 and 1917 using day labour, at a cost of about $6,000, this abandoned concrete arch bridge is situated in the RM of Prairie Lakes, Manitoba.


Now over a hundred years old and recently under the extreme pressure of a winter run off, the bridge remains at the edge of their small community and is used as a foot bridge.

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The remains of a former concrete culvert bridge sits below it.



I have driven by this beautiful old home many times over the years but have never had my camera with me.   Today I thought I’d better do this as there have been many rumors around the abandoned talk groups that this home is coming down.

I won’t try to mask this location as just about everyone knows what home this is.  While there were no signs posted around the property stating “No Tresspassing”, I did not enter past any gate, service road, etc. My understanding is that the structure of the home is very unsafe.

What fascinates most of us is the details of this structure.  The brick walls, magestic staircase and huge structure for it’s time.  I have only ever seen photos of the inside and if you haven’t, google it.  I can only imagine its grandeur in it’s day.


The original owner, Robert Fern Lyons was born in Leeds County, Ontario in July, 1856.  He moved to Manitoba in 1879 where he established a general store on the plains.  When Mr. Lyon’s came to Manitoba, the town of Carberry had been platted.  At that time, Mr. Lyon’s and a partner purchased the first two lots sold in the business district and built a department store.

On the 20th of April 1888, Robert married Janet Josephine Hume of Winnipeg.  They had four children.  In 1888 Mr. Lyons sold his interest in the department store.

Mr. Lyon’s built this home around 1896 on a part of his 2700 acres of land he owned around the Carberry area.  On 1600 acres he grew grain and raised high grade stock.  This two-storey, red-brick veneer residence was occupied by the Lyon’s family until 1919.

He was also said to be a stockholder in the Lone Pine Gold Mining and Milling Company Limited and was Vice-President of the corporation. He also owned a grain elevator at Carberry.  A Conservative, he was elected to the Manitoba Legislature as member for Norfolk in 1892, 1899, 1903, 1907 and 1910.


Farmer Thomas Switzer purchased the home in 1919 and lived there until 1927.  Mr. Switzer’s son and daughter-in-law stayed there until 1952. The home was then owned by Stanley Paluch and Madeline Sokryka Krawec who lived there until 1964 when they moved to McCreary.  At that time the home was sold to Harold Shirtliff.





A couple weeks ago, in a storm, I spotted an old barn right off the side of the road that I hadn’t seen before.  Not sure how I missed it as this is a well traveled route for us.


As you would expect, the building was full of “Keep Out” signs.  The condition of this old building and the signs led to a discussion about abandoned farmsteads and trespassing.  These photos were taken off the road and no one can stop you from doing that.    But the topic of trespassing is grey, in my opinion.  At the end of the day, don’t go on if you don’t have permission.  And if you do go on and you do get hurt, that’s on you.


I would imagine that while this property was running, it was a nice spot with a nice little ravine behind the barn, granery and the house.  And the wide open spaces.  And oh so close to the highway.



I drove by this old farmstead what seems to be 100 times during hockey try outs but never had the time to stop.  Just after Christmas we headed that way again for a weekend long tournament and thought this is my chance.


I didn’t call ahead to get permission to drive onto the property and sometimes road shots are far more intriguing.  I also don’t have much of a history but I’ll work on that too.

I had a good chuckle when I got back into the Jeep after taking a couple photos.  The coach from my son’s team had texted to see if we were okay.  My son took care of the text by replying “all good, my Mom just had to pull over to take photos of that old house.”


My new favorite hastag, #ipulledoverforthis



Every once in a while, when speaking to a landowner, they will ask me if I would be willing to share with them some of the photos that I have taken of their property.  I always do.

Just this last week I got a phone call from Mr. H calling to thank me for the prints that I sent him.  He also welcomed me back anytime and told me that my photographs were “really, quite impressive.”  Thank you very much, Mr. H.


I will certainly be heading back when the weather warms up.  I want to capture the sunset through these trees.


The first descendants of this family farm purchased this land in 1908.  It has been in the family for 3 generations.  The land had 3 previous owners and the first recorded land owner was recorded in 1901.


Mr. H’s parents married in 1942 and this home was built for their new family.  They moved to the original family homestead in 1952.  Mr. H doesn’t recall living in the home but advised me that he was told he moved when he was roughly 5.  He has made every attempt to prevent the home from being damaged and vandalized.


The family has been very active in farming and Mr. told me that until a while ago he made use of the graineries on the property but said age and advances in technology made it hard to use and utilize the way he’d like to.  Mr’s parents were the third generation to farm this land and were very successful.  Over the years they witnessed vast changes in the farming industry.  The land was first farmed with horses and threshing machines, they survived the depression and spent their lives keeping up-to-date with the changes in their industry.  They farmed till they passed.


Mr. now lives in the original family homestead which was built in 1886.  In the early 2000’s a two story barn built in the 1900’s was destroyed by fire.  Mr. had hired a mason to repair the stone foundation but the fire was to much for the old building to withstand.