Not all my time was spent chasing trains. Authentic buildings are my passion. No kits please. The prairie is a treasure trove of originals and even the most “up to date” layout can’t be honest with itself without an abandoned building or two – or more. South of Scott, covered in a previous Proto-file, we came across an abandoned homestead while searching out a small bridge and causeway built by the CPR. I never got there. The old farm was just too good to pass up.
There was an overgrown hedgerow, a long faded for sale sign (a phone number way past unreadable) and an open gate. I stepped inside imagining a mom and dad finally having to give up the farm and finding none of the kids, or grandkids for that matter, were prepared to leave good jobs in the city or in the oil fields. Even the auction hadn’t gone real well. The place was still furnished, dishes put away or in the sink and clothes hung up in the closet. All covered with feathers and dung.
There had been a TV but it was gone and the doors and windows had been repaired over and over to keep out the 40 below that often blew in around here. Lilac bushes had offered a powerful scent in the early summers though and Saskatoon berries fed hungry young hands in warmer times.
It was a simple two-story box with a veranda, later closed in, on the west side and single gable for character. The colour is everything. I would have used highly diluted India Ink on raw wood being careful about mixing the types. They will all absorb the ink differently. That’s both good and bad. The shingles stood up well and were probably a very late upgrade. ‘The better to sell you my dear.’ As were the doors.
That antenna is not a relic of the 50’s and 60’s around here. That is TV when you live somewhere over the horizon and that remained so until very recently. This house died before satellite reception and the thousand-channel universe.