One could easily pass by this house and barn, giving it no thought at all. Looking much like every other farm, there is not much here to draw your attention away – it’s a nondescript farmhouse along a dusty old road. In other words, instantly forgettable. However these buildings have a special secret and their claim to fame is doubling as the Kent family homestead in the 1978 movie Superman. Here is where a young Clark grows up before leaving Smallville and later becoming the Man of Steel.
This location was no doubt selected because of its out-of-the-way location and the archetypal look of the house, the barn and the golden fields that surround it. It’s a fine example of the common family farm which used to dot the prairies all over North America.
While filmed in Alberta the movie is set in Kansas and this location offers a worthy facsimile of that state. In fact, I have had a few emails from Kansas-ites (is that right?) saying that the movie MUST have been shot in their state as the scenes in the film looks too much like it.
Included in that is this fun email I received recently (edited as it had bad spelling and no punctuation):
“You are wrong and the house you show is not the one that appears in the film Superman. While the one your found looks somewhat similar it’s plain to see it’s not the same, I mean the road is not even there, and I have found articles online proving that the location of the film was indeed my home state of Kansas. You should check your facts first before posting”…
I remember the movie as a kid and was amazed by the special effects of the time. The movie was pure magic, something (IMO) that modern movies seem to be lacking.
In the pictures you can see that little has changed during the ensuing years. The brush has taken over the property, the windmill now lays on its side, and the barn leans a bit more than before. Overall though it is in pretty good condition and ready to stand in for the Kent farm yet again in the next Superman movie. Well, they’d just CGI the farm in now.
I don’t know much about the site, however I am researching the current owner and perhaps this can help dig up more which I will then report here. It’s not known if this was a real working farm taken over for the filming or it was built especially for the Superman movie. If the latter, they sure did capture the feel of a real farm. If the former, I bet it must have been fun knowing your farm was in the movies.
All these pictures were taken from the road using a zoom lens since I did not wish to trespass (nor should any visitors to this site).
Other areas of Alberta were used in the making of the movie. Clark Kent’s high school was filmed in another town, not terribly far away and he scene where Mr Kent is buried in yet a third location (links below).
Update: April 2013. An email we received from a family member of the farm’s owner, who we have been conversing with a for a while. It’s great to now know the lineage of this site and we thank her for this information…
“The property was an actual working farm from the time it was homesteaded. From what we understand, it was farmed by a bachelor with a zest for landscaping the front of the property. As the gentleman became too old, the farm was absorbed by another local farmer prior to the 1970′s. The land and yard were maintained, yet the farmyard was left abandoned. My brother and I re-discovered the farmyard in the late 1980′s and with my brother’s continued interest, persistence, and research, was fortunate to acquire the subdivided farmyard in 1995. When Superman was filmed here in the 70′s, the film company cut the bushes and trees back, painted the barn, whitewashed the house, and added the north dormer, (Clark’s bedroom). Other than that, the site has remained in it’s original state.”
Movie images are copyright Warner Brothers.
We visited the area where the cemetery scenes were filmed and to see that report, follow this link…
Superman 1978 cemetery scenes – then and now.
To see Clark Kent’s high school seen from the Superman movie, follow this link…
Superman 1978 high school – then and now.
If you wish more information on this place, by all means contact us!
Date of adventure: September 2012.
Location: Middle of nowhere, Alberta.