Saturday, May 15, 2010

Road Trip to See the Ghosts, Spring 2010, Vol 4: Scotsguard and the Bridge

Text and photos (c) Robert Barry Francos, 2010

This April, fellow photographer John Penner and I went on a two-day road trip through southwestern Saskatchewan in search of ghost towns.

Many of the houses were left wide open and ranged from either ransacked at some point, or actually relatively intact.

Here is the fourth part a photo journal of the trip, with descriptions. The images can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Scotsguard, Saskatchewan,_Saskatchewan

In the heart of town is a scorched section. Here is a house burned to the ground, it's detris laying about among the cinders. The fires were just in the fall of last year.

This tree looked interesting, the way the bark was contrasted against itself.

The second fire took this shed, though some of it is still standing.

The car was between the house and shed, so which one it was affected by (or both), is unknown.

A tricycle lays outside the shed.

This house was owned by a packrat. Everypart of the house, yard, barn, and garage was filled with boxes and boxes of things, to the point where the structures could not be entered. There was also stuff littered all over the lawn. The person who owns it no longer resides there, and those very few left in the town are in a quandry what to do with the mess.

Trees and shed in ill shape.

The garage is being held up by a 2x4s. Note the boxes visible through the door.

Even the doghouse was packed.

The wooden slates that were used as a walkway is reminiscent of a boardwalk.

There were a few bicycles lying around, and in this "children's area," a carriage and another tricycle.

What's left of a wooden sled.

Wooden roof shingles in buckets.

Mrs. Hagen, one of the last residents (who, with her husband, is buying up most of the surrounding property). They had two fires in one month, the results are seen earlier. She was very generous with her time, telling us the recent history (such as it was) of the area.

There are three cemeteries next to each other, each of different denomination. This was in the Catholic one, which had many stones in Polish.

Brige over Rock Creek and railroad tracks, Route 13
This beautiful and fancy bridge actually goes over the railroad, connecting fields for some farmer. I am assuming it was built by the railroad, though.


  1. These are amazing shots - and the story they tell...whoa! What did you think as you went through these different areas?

  2. Thanks, JD!

    I had different thoughts from various perspectives. First, I love the reclamation of nature, that turns each of these houses into an individual work of art. Second, it's interesting to see how people lived, from a social perspective, much like going to a garage sale and getting images from what people are selling. Then there's the sometimes spookiness of it. It's all a story, and one has to make it up from what one is seeing. I don't really find it depressing, as much as fascinating, sometimes for the questions that are raised (like the dental equipment that was in a church that had the x-ray machine next to the dais). Lastly, it is a way of honoring the structure; it will not be the same next year as time will effect it.