ONE SNOWY STORM

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.

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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.

EATON’S CATALOGUE ORDER?

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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