By Jim Hagarty
I have a fascination with old abandoned farmhouses. Also ghost towns. Canada has quite a few ghost towns, especially in the prairies in the western part of the country. On car trips across the country, I sought out these small villages whenever I could and was fascinated by the eeriness of them. In the biggest one I drove through in the province of Saskatchewan, there was a downtown area with stores, all empty, a Ukranian church and a community centre along with a couple dozen houses. All empty except one and it was very odd to see that place. The lawn was green and well trimmed, the house was kept up. It was explained to me that the house was probably being lived in by squatters who moved out from the city and just took over the place. This place also had a war memorial in the centre of town and a closed gas station. The price on the pump was 43 cents a gallon. In any case, the house pictured above is located just outside of Stratford and will obviously be demolished soon. I stopped yesterday and got a few photos. In my younger days, filled with more nerve, I used to go through some of these old houses. Not any more. A friend and I once went into a place that you could hardly see from the road. Just the top of the roofline above the trees. It took quite an effort to fight our way through the brush that had swallowed up the house and once inside, we were enthralled. The kitchen floor was gone, having fallen into the basement. But we worked our way around what was left of it and went upstairs. There we found papers strewn around and we checked them out. The most recent date on any of them, if I recall correctly, was 1903. The house has long since come down.