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.

piano blog

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.








On the Saturday morning on our way to Elkhorn for a hockey tournament the fog was so thick I didn’t even notice this house on the side of the road.


I had been waiting for this weekend for a long time as I was determined I was going to get photos of the Scallion House in Virden, once and for all.  The fog had other plans for me.

So on Sunday afternoon heading to the rink for the championship game, I spotted this. I made a quick stop on the way home for a couple of road side shots.




We weren’t expecting to find a house but we did.  And a whole lot of cats.  We were lucky enough to meet the gentleman who owns the land and was very familiar with the old homes surrounding him.


His ancestors were born in England but immigrated to the area in the late 1800’s.  He started working for a gentleman in the area and in 1899 bought this section of land and built a house and married his wife.

The area school was on the corner of the road leading to his property and history reports that the current teacher allowed the children in her class to watch Mr. drive by with the first car in the area.

In 1914 this home was built.  He was a four bedroom home with electric lights and a power washer.


Mr. had a threshing outfit and threshed for many of his neighbours.  Farming changed, horses were replaced by combines.  That didn’t happen for this family on their sloughy land until 1929.  The drought came.


The current land owner is the third generation to farm this land.




I was lucky enough to be told the location of this home from a fellow abandon seeker in the area whom I believe’s great grandmother or grandmother once lived in the home.

The original owner of this land came to Manitoba in 1885 from Quebec.  He married in 1894 and then bought this land.  The first buildings on the land were a low frame house a log barn and a shop.  The two latter were sod covered.

In 1918 Mr. decided it was time for a new house and planned for a two and a half storey home that was 25 by 32 feet.  The materials were purchased from G.B. Robinson, a lumber dealer in Elgin, Manitoba.  Recorded total cost for the materials and labor to build the home was $4,448.53.


Mr was an avid goose hunter and I would imagine the hunting was very good off the Whitewater Lake.  It is said that many loads of geese were shipped to Winnipeg via rail and served as a delicacy in posh hotels.

Mr. & Mrs. had five children.


The home was a stop over for men hauling wood from the Turtle Mountains across the Whitewater Lake who would warm up and have refreshments before carrying on to the Elgin District.


The youngest son farmed the land until 1966 when they moved to a nearby town.


On the way to a property Reg asked me to take a turn to “check something out”.  Off we went down a muddy, not maintained, gravel, not lets call it mud, road to a barn we could see in the distance.  I’m sure I’ve seen this before but when I didn’t see a house, I didn’t make note of the property.  Its a good thing we had the Jeep cause it was muddy. Well all the mud was worth this stop.


The house was gone and all that was left was the stone foundation, the fridge, freezer, a couple pieces of furniture and many, many knick-knacks.  I found several kettles that day.

In a metal/glass pile away from the house I even found what was left of an old gravy boat.  I found it fitting, considering it was Thanksgiving weekend.


Mr. D. C’s father was born in Perthshire, Scotland in 1856.  They moved to Ontario in 1876.  D was born in 1877 and helped his father farm the original homestead purchased upon their arrival in Manitoba.    In 1926 he married E and they lived on his father’s land for 4 years.  Then in 1930 he purchased this particular piece of land and started building the barn and the other buildings.  D was a member of the Oddfellows Lodge.  He was interested in the education of his children and served as a school trustee for the nearby school district.

A, D & E’s youngest son remained on his father’s farm after his retirement.  He had helped his father farm the land his entire life, even while going to school.  As a youngster is played with the local fastball team as well as the local Linament League.


One of the neatest things about all the exploring I’ve been able to do is when I get home and look over my pictures and then start researching the family only to find that I actually have a photograph that helps solidify the facts that I am reading and researching, like these baseballs.

There were many outbuildings on the property and some old equipment.  And just my luck, an old wooden door knob – I love old door knobs and latches.


I loved this little old building tucked away in the trees.


And of course, this old cart.


A was the second generation to farm this land.  I am told that this original home that stood on that old stone foundation was moved to town when Mrs. left the farm and was put up near our town school.


The original owner of this land, born in 1846, left his large, poor, religious family in Lac Megantic, Quebec at the age of 12 years old with only  .90 in his pocket and the clothes on his back.  He had intentions of making big money.  He took on whatever jobs he could find and for many years was part of a railway construction gang as a cook in Winnipeg.

In 1881 himself and another landowner, whose old property we have visited, headed to the land titles office in Winnipeg to purchase land in the R.M. of Prairie Lakes.  They reached their farms over 100 years ago with a team of horses, a plow to break land and food supplies.  Working as a cook gave him a good idea of what food supplies would best suit them.  They stocked up on cured salted pork, flour, sugar, coffee and tea.

On his 30th year he arrived at his property.  He started breaking land by hand and built a small house.  It was hard work but he was able to break land.  He also purchased a sow that had 12 little pigs.  He sold the extra meat for money.  He also purchased a cow and calf for milk and meat and 6 laying chickens.

He never married and when he got older and the work got to be to much he asked his brother to help him.

In 1887 a minister arrived in the area and had the idea to build a small chapel on the land.  The downstairs served as the living quarters, the upstairs as a chapel and a small corner on the main level served as the post office.  Eventually the church was moved to Dunrae, MB.  They also started building a blacksmith shop and a general store.  The building of the new railway through Dunrae stopped construction and the small church was moved.  The first St. Felix Cemetery remained on the property.

He died in 1915 at the age of 69.

The property shows no signs of this history any longer, except the St. Felix Cemetery in the middle of the 1/4 section.

This is the present home on the land.


On the property was this neat little play house.  You could see in the distance that someone has used it as target practice.  That day I wasn’t brave enough to venture through the long grass for a closer look.


There were a couple of old buildings on the land which maybe could have been part of the original land owners.


Maybe one of these old buildings were built all those years ago.



I have been waiting all summer to get into this house.  I found it online on an abandoned home site and was lucky enough to be told its location by a local lady in town who lived there as a young bride.   I then discovered that Reg knows the family and he was able to get us permission to enter the home and photograph it.

Set up high overlooking their land, this home still is as stunning as I imagine it was in its time.


I won’t post a lot of photos of the home at the request of the land owner but I can give you little bit of history about it.


The original homesteader came from Owen Sound, Ontario.  His family originated in England and were mainly bankers.  Mr. R choose sea life.  Becoming bored with his profession he immigrated to Canada in 1868 where he married his wife J.  Their first born son was born in Portage la Prairie, MB and at 6 weeks old they traveled to the area and settled into this homestead.

I am told that the home was purchased through the Eaton’s Company.  You can find a list of the home plans here.

From comparing photos I took inside and outside of the home I would say that this would be the original listing of the home for purchase through Eaton’s.


There were many mail order home companies back in the early 1900’s but the most famous was the T. Eaton Co. Ltd.  The business was centered at its Winnipeg branch. Eaton houses were made for Western Canada and most of the houses are found on farms.

They had dozens of different models but the most popular was the Earlsfield — a 1-½ storey house with a double gambrel roof. The barn-like roof made for very efficient use of lumber to provide a lot of living space.

The materials cost for the Earlsfield in Fall and Winter 1917-18 was listed at $1,193 (that’s $16,482 in 2015 dollars). Inflation was rampant in the teens so they quit posting prices in 1919.  Lumber was shipped by rail from mills in BC and millwork from Winnipeg.

Also on the property is what is left a an old stone barn.


This was certainly worth the wait.  Of course I took way more pictures but you can only post so many.



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.


The original descendants of this family came to Canada in 1855 from Ireland and settled in Ontario.  In they moved to Manitoba 1882 he bought the section of land on which this house was built.


This was not the original home.  This house was built in approximately 1904 and replaced a log home along the Long River.


Even through hard times Mr. & Mrs. K managed to keep food on the table and keep the house warm, cutting wood from the area and keeping a large family warm, fed and healthy. The land was located on a trail used by travellers and in winter many stopped for directions, weather reports and possibly warmth.


What I found very interesting in this home was the honey comb we found everywhere, right when we came through the back door and further into the house.


I thought it was neat that wild bees had found themselves a place to build a “hive”.


I loved that I could read up and find so much history about this family and the land they lived on.  The kids enjoyed the exploring, skating on the river and tobogganing down the hill in the winter.  Over the many generations the family was active in their community.






This farm has been in the family for many generations and continues to be owned and farmed by this family.

The father of the current land owner was born in this home.  When he was married and started farming on his own.  He owned the original homestead of this family for 18 of the 100 plus years its been in the family.


The original descendants of this family George and Maragret immigrated to Canada from Ireland in 1845.


Their son James came to Manitoba from Ontario as he wanted land for his four sons.  In 1882 he purchased the land and the next year moved his wife and children to the property.


James & Margaret’s eldest son then married and purchased the section of land on which this house stands.  He and his wife were active in their community and is one of the original founders of the Manitoba Co-Operative Wholesale Ltd in 1927 and served as their first President and General Manager.


Egbert and Emily’s had four children, two of which are said to be born in the home.  They attended the Sander’s School, now owned by the same family.


The yard site still has a large, healthy raspberry patch and along the back tree line, numerous producing apple trees.  The home which faces South is nestled in by a large tree line and a long drive past the home takes you to numerous sheds.  Out in the front is a big barn/granary which has started to crumble down.


The home, which I did not enter still shows sign of the once inhabitants.  My favorite part of this visit though, was the telephone that still hangs on the wall.


Across the road from this homestead is the marker of this family and a recording of the land being the original homestead of their original descendants back in 1882.  In 2001 the family received a Century Farm Award.



I’ll be the very first to admit that the old vehicles and equipment don’t usually interest me that much.  Sometimes, depending on their placement but for the most part that is really Reg’s department and his passion.


One day we came across this and I have to say, I was enthralled!


No words are really necessary for this post.