Saturday, October 2, 2021


No, not the blog, that's going to carry on. I'm thinking about the various abandoned buildings and things I've seen over the years. Lately, when I see them, if possible, I'll take photos of them.

There were several examples on the recent set of trips, and from previous photo rambles. I can't help but think about what the story is for the buildings. They didn't grow. Someone built them. Some, like the school in Hoosier are extremely well built, at least on the outside. It must have been expensive at the time, yet they were looking forward. I'm guessing the school district consolidated schools and nobody took up an alternate use for the building. Much of the outside still looks solid, but the windows are broken and the weather is starting to move in.

There's a house a few doors down from us that was abandoned for 2 years. I don't know the story there, but the rumour is that the owner died and it was tied up in probate. Meanwhile a pipe burst in the basement while the heat was off. It was getting pretty run down, then it was put up for sale. As is, where is, mold inside, no inspections. I've spoken with the new owner, and he is completely gutting it, right to the studs. Yes, he plans to be liberal with the disinfectant. He wants to redo it and live there. The neighbours are thrilled. I was thinking of the Hoosier school, wondering what it would take for someone to buy the property, gut the inside, and redo it. It's big, there would be lots of space for a nice home or some kind of commercial space. But then they'd be living or working in Hoosier. Let's just say it's not beach front property, being two and a half hours NE of Medicine Hat.

Homes were built for someone to live in. There could be any number of stories about how someone shut the door for the last time and walked away. Maybe they expected to be back and were killed in a war. Or the family moved away because they went broke and were running from a mortgage default,  then nobody wanted to go to the trouble of demolishing the home. Maybe they moved out in an orderly way but nobody actually moved in except vagrants. 

Barns and other outbuildings were put up for a purpose. Maybe that purpose outgrew the structure. Maybe that purpose went away and the building wasn't suitable for the new purpose. Or there were land sales leaving that structure unnecessary. In human terms, such a person might be laid off, but you can't do that with a structure. It sits there till it either falls down or is demolished. Lots of the buildings are in the process of falling down. 

Usually there is stuff around these structures. Old farm equipment. Vehicles. Random bits of stuff left to slowly rot in the weather, with someone having put it there a last time. Maybe they figured it might be useful for parts one day. One year. One decade. Any century now.

Sometimes the structures are demolished. The farm I remember being run by my mom's parents was an empty place for a while, and now there is a big mcmansion there.  At least according to Mrs Google, there is. I haven't been there in person for some time.

It's polite to find the current owner and ask permission, but that isn't always possible. I won't cross a gate, or pass a no trespassing sign, but if it's open to a public road, I'll take a look. Carefully. There's usually long grass that could conceal a hole, or sharp rusty metal. A friend of a friend broke her ankle crossing a ditch near such a place, and had to crawl several hundred meters back to the car, then drive to a hospital. 

1, 2. A big truck tire. This was in the market parking lot for a while. I'm glad I got the photos, it was gone again a few weeks later, so maybe, technically, it wasn't abandoned.

3. Part of a row of old farm equipment in Scandia.

3. The mighty metropolis of Dorothy.

4. They are looking for funds to complete the restoration. 

5. Sunrise north of Oyen. There are other photos of this recently. 



8. Hosier school, built 1930. As you may remember from history class, Saskatchewan did quite well in the 20's. I can see the town planning the school, assuming the good times would continue.





13. Still Hoosier. We had permission to go in the church. It has lovely acoustics.








21. An abandoned homestead somewhere near Oyen. I think. I wasn't driving so I wasn't paying particular attention.

22. This is only part of this piece of equipment. It baffled me, but it's part of a harrow-like thing according to the expert along for the ride.




26. Sharples. I've been here several times. Last time I got a shot similar to this, only to find out I hadn't realized how wide the lens was, and another lens was visible. I struggled getting this shot, worried about cutting myself on the rusty metal.





31. Somewhere.

32. Same somewhere but across the road.

33. Now, how long before this place gets abandoned, and starts falling down? The glaciers feeding the Bow river are going away. There isn't as much snow pack as there used to be. It's hard to run a big city without water. It might cease to be a viable place to live about the time that happens to my body. Don't say it can't happen here. There are many dying towns and former towns dotted across the prairies. 

Of the Day

Flower with a serendipity flower first.



Surprise! An unblogged shot of Curtis.




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