I seen a photo of this house a few years ago and wondered if one day I would spot it given its in my territory. I was thrilled when a fellow bando friend posted a photo of it and shared its location with me.

Even better, its on land owned by a friend. So Cade took me out to check it out. I would have walked in closer but the thistles were waist high and thick. This was close enough for me, although the other side and a peak inside would be cool. Maybe in the fall.

Downfall, no history. Can’t have everything, right?


On the way home from a shoot last August, I found this along the way.

Why its taken me so long to blog, I do not know.

At the end of the day,difference because I cannot find any good history about this big, old beauty.

I never really know what I will find when I photograph an old property. I go and shoot everyything that catches my eye and sometimes I am lucky enough to make a connection to what I read. That is really why I keep doing this.

And sometimes I’ll be working on a history and find a connection to a property that I blogged months before. Its exciting to go back and add those interesting tidbits. Maybe, as I start to explore this area more, I’ll find something.

Regardless, I really liked this old house and the surrounding out buildings and I’m happy I took a detour home that day.


John, from Beauharnois Country, Quebec and Lena from Emerson, Manitoba married in Killarney on December 29, 1899 and raised 10 children together on this land which John acquired in 1898. John earned an income to support his family by farming and running a hardware store in Neelin. He was also a carpenter. Lena was known to be a stern mother who instilled good values and principals. John passed away in 1937 and Lena in 1973.

In November of 1923, newly married Reta & Carl made their home on this land where they lived and raised their family. In 1966 the semi-retired to Killarney. The frugal couple raised two children on this homestead. Reta & Carl were the second family to own this homestead.

Carl & Reta, determined to make a living and “owe no man nothing”, worked from dusk till dawn to make a living and raise their children. It is said that Reta would do the work of a man and did things such as driving fence posts with a maul as heavy as herself. She broke horses, milked cows and raised chickens. She would support her family by trading milk, butter, chicken and eggs for food. If her grocery bill was more than she had in cash or trade, Reta would put the unneeded items away until next time. Reta & John would not hold a charge account. They prospered and made a good life for themselves and their children.

Upon Carl and Reta’s retirement, their son Glenn stayed on the farm and raised Aberdeen Angus cattle. He then raised four children on his own on this farm with his wife whom he married in June of 1955.

In 1982 Glenn and his wife purchased a family restaurant in Killarney while living on the home farm which he purchased from his parents in 1974.

This is a beautiful homestead. The house and outbuildings are very nicely treed in and its not far from your basic needs like food and gas. The homestead is no longer owned by one of the two original families.


James and his family originally immigrated to Canada to Cornwall, Ontario.  The 2nd of 12 children, James came to Manitoba followed by his two brothers and two sisters.  His sister married and from my understanding lived on this land with her husband.  I do not know if it was them that built this house, or her great-nephew, Donald when he acquired the land upon his marriage.  I can tell you that this family had five generations live and farm this land.  It has been in their name since 1893 and in the family, by relative, since 1883.


The land, a well-wooded section of land was broken by steam engine and bush plow.  Throughout the property, trails were made for travel, via wagon.  In one of the wooded areas, on the way to the house, I did see what was left of an old wagon.


There is a barn on this particular section.  I do know that the family built a barn that had a windmill built in the center, which supplied power to pump water.  Outside the barn, at any given time, had hundreds of bags of grain from neighbors, waiting to be ground.  Unfortunately, it was the same windmill that cause a fire in 1917.  A second barn was rebuilt in the same location.  From what I see, it makes perfect sense that the barn still standing there today, could be from the early 1900’s.

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James wife died in 1895.  With his young family in tow, he returned to Ontario.  He was homesick for Manitoba and returned with his mother who helped him care for her grandchildren.  In 1924 he drove his Model T to Victoria, BC and married his deceased brother’s wife.  His son took over the farm.

James son, Angus (also known as Angie) married Alice on November 30, 1914 and purchased this piece of land, which was at one time was owned by Alice’s uncle.

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Together Angie & Alice had 3 children.


They lived on the farm for 30 years and upon their move their only son, Donald, born in 1916, on this farm, took over the farm from Angie and Alice.

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Donald’s son who was born in 1949, built a new house in 1974.  At the time Grandpa Angie was 86 years old and helped work on it with his Grandson.  The newer house and the original house shown above, remains standing on the property.

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The trails and shaded areas where the family once had family picnics remain.  Somewhere on this section of land there were even tennis courts.

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The current owners of this property live in a third house on the property and run their own farming operation here.  They have goats, sheep and cattle.  It was hard for me to take photos as I did not want to invade their space. I am thankful for them allowing me to photograph parts of their farm that is their home.


My last couple of outings have proved somewhat disappointing when it comes to finding a history for the properties and buildings I’ve been photographing.  Well, not this one.

On Mother’s Day, Cade obliged and took me to this house that has been on my must see list.  I had to get to it sooner rather than later as the landowner told me that once the cows moved onto the land, I would have to wait until they were gone.

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Tucked into the section of land, we traveled up a road that went by a slough, around a nice little wooded area, right up to this house.  When we pulled up, two large, black birds flew out of the house.  We weren’t certain if they were vultures or ravens.

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The original owner of this land, Mr. G was born in Kaldback, Iceland in 1855.  He married his Mrs. who was described as “a handsome 23-year old lass from Fnjoskadal” on December 31, 1888.  Together they had 10 children, 3 of which died in infancy.


Mr. came to Winnipeg in 1887 and worked on the railroad until he moved to the area in 1889.  The couple lived on another farm until 1905 when they purchased this land and cleared it.  They then built what was quoted as being “excellent buildings”.  The home was said to be a haven to many a friend and stranger.  The couple were known for their generous hospitality.

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Mr. was a willing worker, despite of many years of blindness.  Regardless he was able to complete many tasks.  In 1934 he passed away and his wife died in 1940.  Their oldest son Vilhelm (Bill, 1890 – 1969) farmed the land until 1940.  Their other son, Siggi (1901 – 1974) farmed with his older brother for many years but left for the city after getting married in 1937.  Siggi and his wife then returned to farm the family farm until it was sold to the M family.

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The M family lived in the home for 21 years.

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I am told by their son, Henry, that he has fond memories of the big old house and still visits it often.  He told me that when his parents sold the home to move to Brandon, it was sold, move-in ready.

Then we found this, a 1948 Chevy Fleetside, 4 door.

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When I asked Henry about this old car, I was really hoping he could tell me something, and he did.  This old car was taking the family to church in a snowstorm when it got stuck and the engine blew.  The car was parked in this spot and never moved.

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The frame of the car was moved to another part of the yard and another engine was purchased with the intention of the boys making a go-cart with it.  I found it.  As you can see, and confirmed by Henry, they never finished the project.

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I am so happy I stopped to take these photos and that I was able to get the story on them.

Behind the house stood what I can only imagine, with a little help from the old black and white photo, what was once a magnificent old barn.

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The barn was built into this hill and we were able to walk up the side to what remains to be what is left of the stone foundation.  In the walls are the old hooks that tethered the horses.

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I understand why Henry has such fond memories of this old farm and can only imagine how he must feel when he sees his old home in a state of ruin.

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Thank you Henry, for sharing your memories and stories with me.


Nestled in the oak-studded hills, Hola School District, (Hola is Icelandic for hills) was formed in 1897 and the school and a four-team stable was built that spring on land bought from the Crown for $3.00.  The district borrowed $495 from Mr. Maulson and Mr. Olafson built the school.  Classes started in June of that year and Mr. Thorne was the first teacher whom had 53 students enrolled all at various ages.

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The school suffered some fire damage in 1923 and the floor had to be rebuilt.  During the same decade, 4 side windows were also installed on the West side and two “piano” windows were installed on the East side of the school.  In 1929 a larger basement was dug out and cemented and which allowed for a passage to the outside.  This was a welcome addition for the young boys who feared ghosts would jump out of the trap doors they were accustomed to using on dark mornings when they came to light the fire.

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Each November, the area would be crawling with men in white suits, deer hunting in the area.  Children were not allowed out for recess in the school yard and were encouraged to stay inside.  The surrounding hills were perfect entertainment in the winter for skiing and tobogganing.  The spring run off was just as exciting with lots mini rivers and waterfalls that rushed towards the lake about a half a mile North of the school.

On June 30, 1953 only 8 students remained enrolled at the school and nine were needed to receive a grant to operate the school.

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The building sits behind a commemorative cairn which was erected on June 28, 1987.


B.W. was born in Chili in 1871 and as a young boy returned to England with his family where they stayed until his mother passed away in 1887.  At that time his family of 6 brothers and 4 sisters all went their separate ways.  He came to Canada in 1888 and his brother followed him a year later.


In 1890 the brothers acquired this piece of land and lived in this old log house.

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The land was broken with walking plows and oxen.

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In 1891 their sister came to Canada and helped her brothers on their farm until she married.  Her husband passed away in 1894 and at that time she decided to return to England.  In 1892 their other brother came to Canada and purchased his own land not far from them.

The family was known for the musical ability and in particular their ability to play piano, organ and to sing and act.  They also enjoyed cricket, tennis and football.

In 1899 they built a new house.

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This property is beautifully treed and there are many outbuildings.

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In 1910 they built this steel barn.

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The brothers started raising horses and did so until the 1930’s.  At one time there were 36 horses in the barn to be fed and watered and when needed, there were as many as 8 to 10 horses ready to work in the fields each day.

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Horse power was used for crushing and the grain was cut and stacked until the Fall to await the steam threshing outfit of many workers.  In 1918 they bought their own threshing machine and slowly the heavy machinery took over the work on the farm.

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B.W. was married in 1903.  Together they had 3 daughters.

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B.W contracted pneumonia and passed away on November 18, 1923.  May, his oldest daughter returned to the farm with her husband in 1927 when Uncle L took ill.  In 1929 they moved into the small cottage with their sons to take over the farm from her father and uncle.

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Uncle L and BW’s wife both passed away in 1965.  BW’s grandson, CD later took over the farming operations on this land.  He married in 1950 and raised 4 children here.

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When Mrs. D sold this property, this farm had been a part of her husband’s family history for over 100 years.    Even after their retirement, Mr. D still drove out to the farm to keep up the property and do a little bit of farming.  When Mrs. decided to sell, she was offered help to clean the property.  By clean the property she assumed that these people were offering to clean the yard, etc.

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These individuals attended to the house and property and helped themselves to personal belongings in the home, as well as grates and wood banisters from inside the home.  They attempted to sell same online for a profit and when police were involved the discussion was deemed a misunderstanding between the parties.


The Great-Great Grandfather of this land owner was known as the “Hallgrim the one-handed” and was lost at sea in 1873.

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My eagle-eyed husband spotted this house from the highway on our way to photograph another home in Cypress.  Fortunately, I had my maps and was able to locate the landowner and was granted permission to have a look around and photograph.

Originating from Vik, Flateyardal in Northern Ireland, “one-handed”‘s son immigrated to Canada in 1873.  Born in 1844 and passing on in 1936, he travelled to Halifax with his wife whom died giving birth to their first child.  He remarried and lived in Ontario and North Dakota.  He lost his second wife and when he re-married they settled in the RM of Argyle in 1919.

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His Grandson, AO was born in 1917 in Edmonton.  AO with his parents, JA and GK, they settled in Winnipeg.  JA, like his father, shared a love of music and while living in Winnipeg, played at the Rialto Theatre.  The family then moved to Los Angeles, California for a short time where JA pursued his love of music.   JA passed away in 1923 and shortly thereafter AO and his mother and sibling moved back to Manitoba.

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If you look off into the trees, you will see a small body of water.  I imagine that in its prime, this was a beautiful piece of property and a glorious place to raise a family.  Off in the fields and towards the water were a couple pieces of old farming equipment.

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During our visit to this property, we were in the prime of deer hunting season and the land owner warned us to please be careful as there were people that were given permission to hunt in and around the property.  I had my bright pink winter coat on and Cade & Makenna both had orange vests along.

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The home still had curtains and personal effects inside.  There was a large hole chewed in the basement door so I decided not to go inside to look around.

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AO enlisted in WWII in Winnipeg and trained in Brandon.  He served in Italy, England, France and Holland.  After the war he came back to Manitoba and purchased this quarter section of land.

In 1955 he married.  They resided on the property until 1978 with their 3 children.

I very much enjoyed this old car.  I could not believe that most of the glass was still intact.  While there was nothing left of the seats, I’m sure it kept many a mouse warm in the years that it has been parked by this tree.