Southwestern Saskatchewan Ghost Towns etc.: Day 3

Posted in Abandoned buildings, Blumenhof, Chortitz, Driving, Ghost towns, Goodwin House, Hallonquist, Neidpath, Sanctuary, Saskatchewan, Schoenfeld, Simmie, Swift Current, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 7, 2015 by Amanda

I got going this morning (Monday) even earlier (like 6:30 am!) but this day ended up being a bit shorter than the other two.

My stop of the day was a town called Simmie.  This was another place that still had a fair number of inhabitants but still had an abandoned feel to it.  It clearly had once been quite a bit larger; a sign indicated that it once even had a library!  Along with a number of abandoned businesses, it also had an abandoned fire hall.

Old sign at the entrance to Simmie

Old sign at the entrance to Simmie

After leaving Simmie, I came across an abandoned school. It was interesting because it looked like a huge building from afar but when I actually arrived there, it was clearly just an average schoolhouse.

My next stop was Blumenhof.  It was another not quite abandoned town with a number of abandoned buildings.  Interestingly, it had a section of wooden sidewalk.

 

Wooden sidewalk

Wooden sidewalk

Schoenfeld appeared to be still fairly well inhabited though it clearly was a fair bit larger.  It was quite interesting to see a street sign with no street in sight!  Another interesting thing in this town was a sign outside of it former school that listed all the teachers that had taught there; it was clear that it was not a place people wanted to stay working for long!

Sign listing all the teachers

Sign listing all the teachers

I then drove to Chortitz.  It had some abandoned buildings but I suspect that it was never a terribly large community.

I then spent some time driving with a enormous wind farm in view.

Hallonquist was pretty much abandoned though it looked like its community hall is used at least occasionally.  It didn’t have that many buildings left but I really enjoyed seeing a house that has mostly collapsed; there was also a lot of twisted metal around it.

The mostly collapsed house

The mostly collapsed house

Neidpath was in a super scenic location and was abandoned with the exception of one house.  It was clearly quite a large town at once point.  It had two abandoned grain elevators and a number of abandoned buildings.  It also felt very spread out.  I found one foundation and I suspect that there once were many more buildings.

Neidpath from afar

Neidpath from afar

I briefly stopped at Goodwin House which is located along the South Saskatchewan River.  I had driven past it on my way down on Saturday and it looked interesting.  It was very different than most buildings as it was constructed of stone.

Goodwin House

Goodwin House

After lunch in Swift Current, I only stopped at one town (which wasn’t far off the as I was feeling pretty tired.  This town was called Sanctuary.  It was yet another town that was surrounded by a farm but roads made it easy to get a good look.  There were only a few buildings left.

Southwestern Saskatchewan Ghost Towns etc.: Day 2

Posted in Abandoned buildings, Admiral, Cadillac, Claydon, Divide, Dollard, Eastend, Ghost towns, Govenlock, Loomis, Masefield, Orkney, Ravenscrag, Robsart, Saskatchewan, Scotsguard, Senate, Shaunavon, Travel, Vidora with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 5, 2015 by Amanda

There was sure a lot of oil near Shaunavon.

The first town I visited on the second day (Sunday) was called Dollard and was not far from Shaunavon. I first visited its cemetery which was unlike other cemeteries I’ve seen. There were some religious statues and a couple of graves in the middle but the rest of the graves were along the edge of the fence and there was a lot of empty space in the middle. The town had a number of inhabited houses but it also had some abandoned ones and it was clear that this town had once been much larger.

I stopped briefly in Eastend which is like a mini-Drumheller. This place has lots of dinosaur signs and such. My GPS took me on a really hilly, winding road leaving Eastend which led right back to the highway. It provided really nice views but staying on the highway would probably have been more sensible!

Some of Eastend's dinosaurs.

Some of Eastend’s dinosaurs.

Ravenscrag was the next town. It was a bit off the highway and the roads there didn’t seem that well-travelled. I didn’t have any problems but I did get a bit worried a couple of times. This town, in what turned out to be a bit of a trend, was now surrounded by a farm. I think there was a number of buildings left but with one exception I really couldn’t get all that close.

I then headed to Robsart. I’ve read a lot about Robsart as it seems to be the undisputed best ghost town in Saskatchewan. I’ll admit I went there with very high expectations. I’ve really wanted to go there since I first took interest in ghost towns. I was somewhat disappointed with Robsart. It was uninteresting but it just wasn’t as fantastic as I had expected. I’ve come to the conclusion that I most enjoy places that are unexpectedly interesting. That being said, Robsart does looking amazingly abandoned when you approach it from the highway. There actually are a couple of inhabited houses but with so many empty buildings you hardly notice them.

Approaching Robsart

Approaching Robsart

Vidora was another town that has been surrounded by a farm. It doesn’t look like much is left here though there are a couple of small buildings blown over in a very interesting way.

I stopped and took of the sign where a school had once sat in Senate. That is all there is to tell you that a town named Senate once existed. I always amazed when towns manage to leave pretty much no trace.

I then went to Govenlock. This town has just one standing building, the community hall. However it was actually a quite interesting town as there were also foundations of other buildings.

Foundation of a building in Govenlock.

Foundation of a building in Govenlock.

Divide was yet another town with buildings left but surrounded by a farm.

A bit past Divide, I saw what looked from afar to be an old abandoned schoolhouse. As I got nearer, I saw a cemetery and knew it was actually a church. As I was leaving, I also noticed a small cross on the building.

Claydon was a bit weird. They have a post office located in a building that could totally pass for being abandoned! The front of the building was clearly once a grocery store and still has some remnants left like an cigarette advertisement; it also has a broken window on its door. There are other buildings that look less than great but still seem to be inhabited.

Claydon's post office

Claydon’s post office

Loomis also seems to be within a farm now but with a road right beside it. So, I could get a good look.

Orkney was definitely my favourite town of the day! It was quite interesting and almost abandoned. The grain elevator appears to be for sale (though the sign is rather faded) if anyone wants to buy one! The old school had a curling rink attached to the back of it but the whole thing is now very much abandoned. I almost left the town and then realized there was quite a bit more I hadn’t seen!

Curling rink/school in Orkney

Curling rink/school in Orkney

Masefield was yet another town hidden within a farm.

Cadillac is far from an abandoned town but had an interesting abandoned school which was quite large. This town also had signs with old pictures of various buildings outside of the buildings.

School in Cadillac

School in Cadillac

Admiral is clearly not a ghost town but had a fair number of abandoned buildings. It also had a couple of buildings that now appear to be homes (a church and a credit union).

Scotsguard was definitely unique! Someone has clearly put a lot of work into restoring many of the buildings. Maybe this will be become a museum soon? They seem to have restored the buildings other than houses. They have small informational signs on them. There are some empty spaces in this town but this really does give an idea of what these types of towns must have once looked like. I enjoyed visiting Scotsguard because it was different and informative but I wouldn’t want this to happen to every town as I really do like the seeing the abandonment.

Some of Scotsguard's buildings.

Some of Scotsguard’s buildings.

Southwestern Saskatchewan Ghost Towns etc.: Day 1

Posted in Abandoned buildings, Driving, Forgan, Ghost towns, Glamis, Hughton, Lacadena, Leinan, Plato, Roseray, Saskatchewan, Shaunavon, Sidewalks, Success, Travel, Tyner, Verlo, Wartime, White Bear with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 3, 2015 by Amanda

This weekend I drove around a fair bit of southwestern Saskatchewan looking for ghost towns, abandoned buildings, and anything else interesting. I drove a lot over three days. I saw a lot of abandoned farms and such that I didn’t stop for as I knew I’d never get very far if I stopped at every single one. Plus, a lot of them look quite alike. It was an interesting way to spend a weekend. I think I’ve seen enough of Saskatchewan now to say that I really can’t see where the whole stereotype about it being flat comes from. Anyway, this post will just deal with the first day of my trip (Saturday).

My first stop of the day was a place called Glamis. It was abandoned and there wasn’t too much left. Between the sidewalks and a sign dedicated to the settlers, it was clear that this was once a decent-size town. By the way, I saw a lot of sidewalks this day. I think a lot of the places I visited had once been decent-sized and perhaps, abandoned a bit later than many of previous towns I’ve visited.

Glamis

Glamis

I then went to Forgan. Despite having a couple inhabited houses, this places definitely had an eerie feel. It had some abandoned buildings but clearly had been considerably larger at one time. It also had sidewalks and streetlights.

Forgan

Forgan

Next was Hughton. It was kind of similar to Forgan but had a more welcoming feel though it didn’t have streetlights.

I then headed to a town called Wartime. I certainly don’t think this is the best name for a town but it still has a number of people though it also has some abandoned buildings.

I then drove on to Plato. I was definitely my favourite town of the day but I really didn’t know what to make of the place! It seemed very abandoned-looking overall but had two decent-looking inhabited houses, lots of fairly new farm machinery laying around, and what could certainly be the smallest standalone post office in Canada (it is in what looks like a small shed). Anyway, it was definitely an interesting place to explore for a bit.

Canada's smallest post office?

Canada’s smallest post office?

Next I went to Tyner. It also must have been a good size at one time. It had a playground. It also had sidewalks galore some of which were in great condition, others not so much.

I also enjoyed the town of Lacadena. There was an interesting, large two story house just outside of the town that looked to have been abandoned not all that long ago. There was a strange sound outside of that place and it had a bit of an eerie feel to it. It still has an R.M. office and a couple inhabited houses. The former school (which must have had several classrooms) but still be used as a community centre. There were, of course, also a number of abandoned buildings and sidewalks. I think this town may have once been even larger than the others. I know I could easily do some research but I tend to find speculation much more fun for some reason!

Spooky house just outside Lacadena

Spooky house just outside Lacadena

I then headed to White Bear. This town has a statue of a white bear, of course! It really isn’t close to be abandoned but does have some abandoned statues. Interestingly, it has also has a school (that is fairly large) that is no longer in use and which is clearly abandoned. It was used until 1974; Lacadena’s was in use until 1972. These towns aren’t far apart. There must really have been a population decrease around that time!

White Bear

White Bear

The stopped briefly to look at the view from just outside Saskatchewan Crossing Provincial Park which is along the South Saskatchewan River. I stopped at the first parking lot I saw and I was definitely the only one with a small vehicle. I realized later that there was a nicer parking lot on the other side of the river. This parking lot wasn’t bad though and the view was nice and it had a washroom so I’m glad I stopped.

When my GPS told me I had arrived at Leinan, it seemed that nothing was there. However, a little down the road I found it! There wasn’t much though: a schoolhouse and a couple buildings on what is now a farm.

Soon after, I found myself on a road that had a sign that said “Not a through road.” I consulted my road atlas it looked like it went on for a while. It ended up going the whole 20 kilometres I needed to read the next road. There were also some signs later on that said “Seasonal Road” and yet, it was in better condition than many roads without warning signs and there were farms located on this road with seemingly no other access. Anyway, it was rather puzzling.

I then went to Success as I really couldn’t resist visiting a town with that name! It had a few abandoned buildings but largely looks to still be successful!

Next was Roseray. There isn’t much left of this town and I suspect it probably never was all that large. It’s community hall looks like it may still be in use and there were a few abandoned buildings but as there was a “No Trespassing” sign I didn’t explore.

I almost didn’t stop at Hazlet as it was undoubtedly quite inhabited but I’m glad I did! It was an interesting town. There library which, of course, wasn’t open was still interesting. They had a nice sign about its history out front. At first, I thought it shared its space with a church which would have been strange (though I did grow up sometimes going to a library branch in the basement of a church) but on closer inspection I discovered that the church had given the space to the library.

Sign detailing the history of the Hazlet library.

Sign detailing the history of the Hazlet library.

Verlo has nothing more than a sign and a plaque left. Strangely, there was a “historical site” sign leading there. I have found that signs like this and especially, “point of interest,” signs, in Saskatchewan tend to lead to the least interesting things.

I also found my first of three “bridges to nowhere.”

A bridge to nowhere

A bridge to nowhere

I then checked in to my motel in Shaunavon and walked around the town a bit.

A short update to my last post

Posted in North Battleford, Saskatchewan, Scary, Storm, Weather with tags , , , , on July 25, 2015 by Amanda

I can’t believe how many people have come to look at and take pictures of the fallen tree. My street is usually pretty quiet but not tonight!

Scariest storm ever!

Posted in North Battleford, Saskatchewan, Scary, Storm, Weather with tags , , , , on July 25, 2015 by Amanda

So, I’m pretty sure I just experience the scariest storm I’ve ever encountered in my life. It was brief but it was truly frightening. I knew a storm was coming and the sky looked very ominous but I wasn’t expecting this. I am so glad I was at home and not driving as for a couple of minutes I literally couldn’t see anything but water. We also had some hail so it looked like it had snowed in places but of course, it rapidly disappearing. The street lights in front of my place went off for a few minutes but my electricity stayed on the whole time. One of the chairs on my balcony literally flew from one end to the other. Trees were swaying but I didn’t notice until things had calmed down that a huge tree at the other end of my building to fallen onto a parked vehicle, blocking the street. Anyway, I’m glad that the storm is over and it’s now just lightly raining.

Hail on the roof and ground.

Hail on the roof and ground.


The tree blocking my tree.

The tree blocking my tree.

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