September 08, 2006

81: Riddled & Criddled

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This past weekend Kerry and I visited a hidden little bit of local history, the Criddle-Vane homestead south of Brandon. The Criddle family were pioneers known for contributions in the fields of science, art, sports and culture, as well as for their eccentric lifestyle. They settled in Manitoba in 1882, and the last family members left the homestead in 1960. The site is significant to the entomological research community for long-term scientific study; Norman Criddle collected specimens from the region which are now found in major insect collections around the world.

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Not really well-known as a destination yet, the main house was left open so we wandered around inside, alone – quite creepy, but cool – the trip definitely wouldn't have been the same had we not been able to go inside. Click here to see a larger collection of images from the visit.

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Top to bottom: the main house of the Criddle homestead; inside one of the biggest kitchens I have ever seen; the view through a second-floor bedroom.

8 comments:

jk said...

those houses always remind me of the blair witch.

Melissa said...

Wow, that window photo is spectacular. Looks like a fun time!

Hey, are there no clouds in Canada or sumthin?

Clement said...

I love the third picture, nice lighting! :)

Dave said...

Those are cool. A long time ago, my dad and I went to a barn not too far from my grandparents' house. It had been abandoned for quite some time. We took a few pictures inside (probably taking chances with our lives at the same time, who knows if it might have collapsed on us). But one big machine had fallen partially through the floor which was kinda interesting. We also went to the bottom level, where the livestock was kept. There were still nameplates on the stalls "Miss Bessie" or something like that. It was just strange how much stuff was still there considering how long it must have been since anyone did anything besides shake their head at it.

There was a house across the road that must have been where the family lived. We took a step inside and immediately found ourselves in a near predicament. The floor had collapsed and there was only about a foot wide ledge around the perimeter of the room. We didn't investigate too much more in there afterward. There was, however, a garage with a concrete floor, and we poked around in there a bit. Just out of complete nosiness, I picked up an envelope in a box that looked interesting. I read it, and it went on about typical stuff, but then there was a reference to one of their family being in the newspaper. It said what page and such. I remembered seeing a newspaper in the barn and made a mental note of what the letter said and what page the photo was on.

There was an attic above the garage and curiosity got the best of me. I went up and the place was a wreck, like it was a place the people who lived there just chucked stuff they didn't need, but didn't want to throw it away. Maybe someone lived up there, who knows. But I was poking around at various things. I came across a small suitcase or overnight bag and opened it. I screamed like a girl and jumped back and ran downstairs again because the thing was teeming with mice. It seemed like there were a hundred in there (at least a dozen or two, anyway). But it freaked me out because they didn't look at all friendly and were coming after me...I thought.

So, I was ready to go, but wanted to check the newspaper in the barn. I found it, and couldn't believe it when it was the actual newspaper mentioned in the letter. I saw the photo they were talking about etc. Hard to believe the paper was in such good shape considering it was subject to cold/heat/humidity. But there was a photo of the high school graduate they were talking about in his senior picture. It was just so strange that I found those particular things and they had a connection. I'd love to go back and see if it's still there and take a bunch more photos. I'll have to see if I can find the few photos I did take there and scan them.

Sorry to bore you with all this, it just sparked a memory I hadn't thought of in a long, long time. These photos just remind me of it so much, but that place you visited looked to be in much better shape.

Dave

Jeope said...

That's it, Dave: let it all out. Those mice aren't gonna hurt you anymore.

Seriously though, that's a great story. Thanks.

ben huff said...

damn, i love it when a photo raises stories and feelings like dave's.

that's what photos are supposed to do! well done jeope.

Shel Z said...

I had no idea Manitoba owned such a prominent bug man.

lwj01998 said...

http://www.gov.mb.ca/conservation/parks/popular_parks/western/criddle_info.html

Good information on this park. I hope to get there soon. Looks very interesting.