Lyons Mansion, Hwy #5, 1 km south of Carberry, MB
Robert Fern Lyons was an early settler in the Carberry area who owned 2700 acres of land and raised crops and livestock. A Conservative, Lyons was elected to the Manitoba Legislature five times between 1892 and 1914. Lyons built his mansion just outside of the town. Though long abandoned and disintegrating quickly, the crumbling mansion retains enough of the detail to suggest its original magnificence. Built around 1895, the red and buff brick two-storey house combines elements of Italianate and Queen Anne architectural styles into a striking and luxurious pile. The first floor features buff brick, the second floor red brick, both laid in standard running bond. The commingling of both coloured bricks on the second floor is fluid and dynamic. The asymmetrical massing of the house, round segmental arches over the windows and the accent quoins are all Italianate elements that give the house a villa feel. Queen Anne style is represented in the two-storey rounded rooms, the bargeboard and fish scale shingles on the gable ends, the ornate three arched windows, which open into the stairway, and picturesque roofline. I suspect this place will be torn down soon. Watch my 3 minute video tour of the shambles inside the old mansion.
Carberry and North Cypress Rural Municipality are Spud Country. Every year local farmers plant and harvest about 20,000 acres of potatoes, much of it processed at the nearby McCain Canada plant.
UPDATE June 28, 2015 The remains of the residential school and the land it sits on have been put up for sale on Kijiji. Price reduced from $99,000 to $79,000 CDN. Here’s the link
Perched on the edge of the Birdtail River valley above Birtle, MB stands the ruins of an Indian residential school. Built in 1930, this two- and three-storey red brick and limestone building was the third residential school in the town. The 1882 school burned down in 1895. The 1895 school, near this site, was demolished and replaced with the present building. Closed in 1972 and largely abandoned to the elements since, today the place is a fascinating shambles. In June 2014 I took pictures and video of the school inside and out. Smashed glass brick basement windows. Thoroughly vandalized, there are few unbroken panes of glass left on the building. Rear view of the building. Appropriate graffiti on old shed next to school. The facade of the three-storey section of school. Smooth limestone pointed arch over the front entrance. Just inside the front door looking out. Remains of a colourful mural on the wall inside the front door. Hallway to large auditorium. Ice cube trays on a decomposing couch with evidence of fire on the floor. Several small areas in the building have been blackened by fire but it’s mostly masonry with little to burn. Well-graffitied auditorium. Ruined elegance. Once-stylish over-stuffed armchair now oversees the peeling of the floor tiles.Bird’s nest atop hanging metal ceiling fragment. Pigeons, robins and swallows use the place to roost and nest.The one remaining unbroken urinal in the building. View out third floor window of pretty little Birtle in the valley below.
This archival picture shows the school not long after it was built in 1930.
Click here to view my five and half minute video tour of the school.
The road is long. In fact, it cannot be stopped. Sometimes, across open prairie, the road is obvious with lines and arrows; sometimes the road disappears into the bush or grass but it’s always there, unstoppable. The road possesses the souls of those who travel it in a particular way, not as a path or a conduit but as a Holy Mile, The One Mile, The Only Mile, Unending, Endurably Far, Replicating Itself to The Vanishing Point.
Yet, beside the road, the haunted souls of the long gone find solace and sanctuary in the tumbledowns, the neglected and abandoned places that once danced with the rhythms of lives but now succumb and succumb. Visit six lonesome places by clicking on the pic.
Since childhood I remember driving past this old, long-abandoned stone farmhouse set humbly but with a certain majesty at the top of a rise next to the highway south of Hartney, MB. My grandparents homesteaded in the area so I often saw the old house up there, lonesome and vulnerable.
It is constructed from the most readily available material on the prairie in this part of the province: field stones. The mason who collected the stones and created the patchwork hues had a special eye for colour and size. Now tumbling down, the stones are returning to their fields, the patchwork disassembling in the wind, snow and heat.
The Mansard roof is cut with six gabled dormers. Lightening rods puncture the roof fending off the electric storms that sweep across the land. Swallows find excellent nesting sites under the eaves. The sky scowls down.
I’m not sure why it took me so long to investigate this house but this summer I spent a cloudy afternoon capturing it. Combining still and live images of the exterior and interior of the house with some whimsical sound I created a two-minute video. Click on any picture to start the video.
BULLETIN! BULLETIN! BULLETIN!
Access to Brandon remains limited from the north with First Street still closed at the top of the North Hill. The fast moving water of the Assiniboine River is lifting and warping the asphalt on First Street from below. Dikes along the strip are under constant surveillance this morning with re-enforcement continuing.
To the west on 18th Street, traffic is limited to one lane in each direction. Dikes there appear to be holding but re-enforcement continues. The Kia, Toyota and Mazda dealerships have all deserted the lowlands, moving their vehicles to higher ground wherever they could find it. Motels, service stations, restaurants, convenience stores – every business along 18th Street in the valley is closed, shuttered and waiting. Almost 40 stores in Corral Centre, the entire mall, have shut down. Some have started moving merchandise.
Brandon’s spiffy new firehall is near the river but sits at some elevation, hopefully enough. In case the city is split in two and separated by raging water, some fire trucks and equipment have been moved to the north side of the river.
Over 1000 people have been evacuated from The Flats with more evacuation notices likely to come today.
All the while, uncaring about commerce or insouciance and bringing us the double-edged gift of worry and insignificance, the mighty Assiniboine surges on, stretching its watery fingers across the land, caressing wherever it wants, relentless in its quest for the bay.
The river is expected to crest in Brandon this week, no one seems certain when but likely within the next 60 hours. Good luck Brandon.
Next report coming late Tuesday morning.