Category Archives: Buildings

American Beauty, or Land of Broken Dreams?

Montana is a beautiful state, at least in the spring, summer, and fall. I would not want to spend a winter in Montana (because … okay, I admit it, I’m a wimp). Their winters  are harsh.

Seeing so many abandoned buildings in this state, I have come to think of Montana as a land of broken dreams (for many). In pioneer days, people must have come to Montana with hope and enthusiasm. They built their homes and tilled the soil, and waited for the crops to grow.

Then came the winter, the loneliness, and the difficulty in traveling the mile or two  in harsh conditions for a sanity-restoring visit with the nearest neighbour.

What if you had an emergency, an accident, or your child was ill, and needed a doctor?

Is it any wonder that sometimes dreams turned into nightmares?

Some of these abandoned homes may have been left standing empty when a newer, more modern house was built nearby, but many simply became a place escaped from, left for the coyotes and pigeons to explore.

Here is one house that has seen happier days.

And here is another.

If only the walls could talk, what stories we would hear!

 

Old Church

This old church stands on a bit of a rise at the side of the highway in a small, very small, Montana town. Isn’t it interesting how churches are often on a hill? I think there are three reasons for this: It can be seen by all and act as a reminder to come to church, the church can be seen as reaching towards God, and the nearby cemetery  is always well above the high water mark. dscn7040

The building is in the process of being restored. Some of the windows are boarded up where the panes have been broken. The main roof has a new skin of steel over it, but you can still see the original asphalt shingles on the steeple roof.

I wondered if the building was empty, so I put my camera up to one of the windows and took the photo below.

dscn7045Then it occurred to me that it was a church and the doors should always be open, so I went inside. The eight pews inside would hold 64 people if you squeezed in eight to a row, but more likely six to a row would be more comfortable for a maximum of 48 people. dscn7046In the back the piano still sits there. I was a bit disappointed that it wasn’t an organ, even the old style of foot pedal organ, but at least they had music. The next thing I noticed was the very uncomfortable chair the pianist would have to use.

Not pictured, at the back of the room, some hymnals were boxed up, and I saw mention of the word Pentecostal. Maybe the denomination of the church was Pentecostal.
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I’m not a churchgoer, but for the sake of tradition and culture, I’m glad this building is being preserved.

***I may not be able to answer comments for a few days as I’ll be without Internet, but I will respond as soon as I get a connection. Please do leave your comments in the meantime and thanks for visiting.

Let them eat cake

Is this what they meant by “Little House on the Prairie”? Maybe this house is just a bit too little.

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Credit where credit is due, this photo was taken by the Captain with his little Fujipix. Photography is not his number one passion so I was surprised at the sky condition and general composition he captured.

We started to wonder about the little house. It has two windows and a door, so maybe someone, like a farmhand, might have lived in it temporarily. But maybe its main purpose was something else. I’ll never know the answer.

The present owner thinks it might date to around the 1930s. He said the previous owner used to put cake in it. We were a bit confused about that until we asked more about the cake. Apparently cake is what they call the pellets that are used to supplement the cattle feed in the winter.

cattle-feed-cake

He said that when he was younger, raccoons used to visit this little house to eat the “cake” and then sleep in the attic. There was a small square cut out of the attic for access and it was a scary moment when the young fellow and his friends dared each other to stick their head up into the attic.

One thing I know for sure about this little house, is that the prevailing wind comes from the west.