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Jul 23, 2013

Old Prairie Barn

Old Prairie Barn - near Erickson, Manitoba
A beautiful, well-constructed, old horse barn sits near a bluff (Prairie lingo for a clump of trees). Some measure of care and design went into the building of this barn but it's falling into a state of disrepair having not seen use for decades.

This barn is not alone. Deserted barns, granaries and houses dot the rolling Manitoba prairie south of Riding Mountain National Park. Many older buildings have no doubt been removed completely. Even the iconic prairie elevators are disappearing. (see Prairie Elevators)

Isabella Elevators
Perhaps it is the lack of use but there is a peacefulness associated with these buildings. They remind us of an earlier time when both function and form were considered, when each step was methodical, and time was taken to do the job well. We have seemingly moved away from that to a society fixated primarily on getting things done quickly. This is not unique to the Prairies.

People will say this in unfair. We are forced to do what we do in order to make a living. We couldn't possibly go back to the old ways. I am not suggesting we go back - merely observing that we once devoted time to doing things well and concerned ourselves with the process as well as the result.

I find beauty in many of these old, forgotten, structures. They speak of a different time, of different values. If only these buildings could tell their stories.

You can purchase a fine art print of this photograph here.

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