Aug 312012

I think I could spend years documenting ghost towns in this province. The first time I visited this town in 2009 it was officially a ghost town. It was winter and all the streets where snowed in, the few street lights were dark, and there wasn’t a single person living in the town. The remains at the time were approx 10 houses, a church, a rink and a movie theatre that was a hall in its later years – all recently boarded up by the Rural Municipality after the last few remaining residents were forced out. The buildings had been declared unsanitary and unfit for human occupation by the Ministry of Health after the water and sewer system for the hamlet had failed.

It wasn’t always that way – a century ago the village had 200 residents, a hotel, two banks, three grain elevators, and its own newspaper. There were a total of nineteen businesses. The years since have been tough on this town, the story is similar to the demise of hundreds of communities like this one in Saskatchewan. The boom of the 1920’s fed all these communities and they all grew. The prosperity of the time looked like it was never going to end. However the depression years of the 1930’s spelled drought and hardship and these small communities began to wither. As time passed more businesses closed and one of the final blows to many communities is when the railways abandoned their small branch lines in the 1980’s as the government stopped subsidising them. The railways were responsible for the start and growth of these communities was also responsible for their final demise.

These photos are from the fall of 2011 and something interesting is happening in this town. There are a few houses that were sold and were being repaired. I thought many of them appeared to be beyond repair, but apparently there are some that believe otherwise. So this little town that boomed and then died out completely appears to have a little life again. We will see if this generation of settlers remain or if they will give up and leave like so many before them.

Looking down what would have been a fairly busy main street a century ago.

The ticket window for the old theatre that had been converted into a community hall.

Looking towards the entrance of the hall.

Vandals have for the most part have yet to find this location. I hope it stays that way.

What remains of the projection room from it’s days of being a theatre.

One of many boarded up homes.


 Posted by at 14:49