Once upon a time it was a house, no it was a home, full of hopes, full of dreams, full of LIFE. Now there is nothing but lost memories and a wind that perhaps bears a ghostly resemblance to the noise of the family that once lived within.
Here it is, the entire subject of our report – a couple solitary stone walls stranding alone on the prairie in an almost Stonehenge fashion. Located south of the tiny little village of Cessford Alberta, the remains beckon as we drive by on the empty highway. They invite us to explore, and we do, but deep inside we know we’ll uncover nothing.
Looping around the remains there are no visual clues as who lived here and when. Not a single thing is found… nothing…besides the field stones and the mortar that binds them together. The Cessford Stone House is not going to give up its secrets easy.
So we walk away empty handed, knowing nothing more about those who lived here than we did before we stopped. The mystery is not solved. It’s only become deeper.
We take a number of photos, but in the end, only one is needed. It’s more than enough to tell the story.
I’ve been told by any number of pro photographers NOT to centre your subject in a photo but this technique seem to work well here. Further advice we been given is to always make sure there is foreground and background interest in an image. With this subject there is none of that. It’s alone, it’s by itself…there is no foreground, there is no background…just this simple foundation smack-dab in the middle. In the middle of nowhere.
These remains invite further research. I just can’t stand it not knowing something about this place. I am not holding my breath here on this but perhaps something can be found in an obscure book or perhaps online. Who knows, but I’ll keep trying
Just after writing this post, I did find a single photo of the foundation in an area history book. The photo, probably from the late 1970s (the book was published around 1980) shows all the walls still standing. The caption however does nothing to help uncover any of the mystery. All it says is “What is left of Stone House south of Cessford, Alberta.” Who ever wrote that must have been unable to turn up anything either.
Update: August 2013. A reader of this blog, who lives in the Cessford area, has sent us some documents in regards to this subject. The house was built around 1912 and occupied by a family named Turner and several of thier children were born there. It’s not exactly clear when it was abandoned but the information hints that it was early on. A 1969 report included, mentions the house was by then already in a fallen down state. A picture included, taken shortly after its completion however, shows a very attractive two story barn-roofed structure.
On this trip we visited some of the towns (or should I say remains of towns) and to read that report, click the link below…
Sheerness – Rose Lynn – Sunnynook – Carolside.
We found two very photogenic farms not terribly far away
The Burns Farm.
The Mink Ranch.
If you’d like to know more about this place, by all means contact us!
Date: August 2013.
Location: Cessford, AB.