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.




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.


As any church in a small community, Neelin United Church played a large role in both the religious and social life of the area.


In 1923 families from the district were holding church services in a nearby school and a Ladies Aid Group was formed to fund raise having Fall suppers, bazaars and lunches.  By 1936 the ladies raised $1,000 to build a new church. The land was donated by Mr. W. Henwood.


The building was erected by volunteers and had a full basement.  Local carpenter Mr. Atterbury supervised the building operation.

The church opened on July 26, 1936.


Due to declining congregation services ceased after 42 years in December, 1978.


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.

CHURCH – a bibical assembly

This lovely little church, the pride of its small town, still holds a yearly service.  A personal tour of this building, previously arranged, filled us with more history than we could absorb.  I think it would be amazing to see some wedding photos taken inside and outside of this old buildings.

The construction of this church began in 1906 and was finished in 1908 and was formally opened by Rev W.R. Johnson.





This is one of the first places I ventured out to to.  I had no idea that this was here and it was actually a friend that told me about it.  I took my daughter with me.  Its a neat little place but to be honest with you, I wasn’t sure what I was expecting or what I should take photos of.  I need to go back, I need to go inside and I need to recapture this place.  Since these photos were taken I think I’ve grown as a photographer and will be the first to tell you that these are not great shots.


There is a lot written about this Church in the history books for this area but I think this sign outside sums it up pretty well.  My understanding is that this church still holds a yearly service but I don’t know if that is accurate or not.  Whoever takes care of this place does an amazing job.  It is in very good condition and the area is well kept.


I would love to try to shoot this at night, one day.  And I’ll go inside.  I think this would also be the perfect place to take pictures of your special day.