Oct 312017
1936 Chevrolet

It’s a frigid and blustery weekend, April 2017. There’s this biting cold, a constant numbness. We’re here on on the plains of Saskatchewan, north of this little town, west of that one, a place sparsely populated, fields stretching off to the horizon in every direction. All around, the trying conditions, the wind, the snow, this overpowering sense of utter isolation. And we’re here with a motley group of friends to explore, in search of ghost towns, abandonment, things left behind. And it’s all being filmed.

Old Jack has been on this earth a long time. Longer than pretty much anyone reading this here post. He’s lives on a little hill (what, in SK?) a short distance from the place he was born. Never has he strayed from the area. He lives alone, has for many decades. Oh, and he owns an old grain elevator in a ghost town and we’re here to tour it with him (article soon). But first, a brief little look at his collectiom. Seems he has a thing for old metal.

Old Jack’s: a preview of a metal yard we plan to revisit. Researched, written and photographed by Chris Doering and Connie Biggart (BIGDoer.com/Synd)

This will be a quick look – the schedule says we have to get filming – but you can bet your last dollar, we’ll be back. Spring won’t come fast enough. Till then a few teasers – no attempt was made to get a backstory or to do deep research – that will be for next time – so here, just some nice pics to enjoy.

Scroll down for photos and to comment.

1) All kinds of odds and ends here, including this old wheelchair. One wonders how Jack acquired it, and what the plans were to do with it. Hmmm.

2) This 1959 Dodge. Oh, I was born in the wrong era. We’ll be back to check this one out – it’s got tail fins! You gotta love tail fins – we come for the tail fins! And chrome! Oh yes, chrome! Cars from the ’50s are a favourite.

Old Wheelchair

1) At Old Jack’s, this old wheelchair.

3) On Jack’s hill, an old thresher and a 1940s era International Pickup, KB series we think (or maybe just a K). A snow squall makes an appearance, the wind blows. We must be crazy. Or dedicated. Even in spite of it’s low stature, this hill affords a wonderful view of the surrounding countryside.

4) A Fargo LCF (Low Cab Forward). This was badge engineered Dodge sold at Plymouth dealerships in Canada (not the US). Dual headlights tells us this is a 1960-1968-ish model. The Fargo name was retired in 1972. Those fenders could swing out, allowing easy access to the drive train – a clever feature.

5) Old Jack himself and his “plane” built using odd bits of metal found on the property.

6) An old boiler. Some heavy metal here. We know there’s a story attached to this one.

7) View camera photographer Rob Pohl looks on as Jack talks about his homemade car, built when he was a much younger man. It’s made up of car and tractor parts salvaged off what ever junkers they had lying around at the time, and wood. Lots of wood. Way back when he once drove it to a nearby town. Took the better part of the day. Bet it was bone-rattler (steel wheels)!

8) Random find – a running theme here – an old TV. Again, one wonders how it got here. To this very spot, here among all these old vehicles. Anyone know if Hockey Night In Canada is on? Anyone have a really long extension cord? It’s only a half section to the nearest plug.

9) Film maker Rueben Tschetter setting up for a shot. We didn’t really plan to film here, but got distracted by all this wondrous metal and when magic happens, well, it needs to be recorded.

10) A late example of a Ford Model T, the car that made Detroit, one of the most ubiquitous vehicles of all time. Some fourteen million and change were made from 1908-1927. New they cost a few hundred bucks or so. We see these in old metal yards all the time. They made so many of them!

11) Old Jack himself, our guide and storyteller for the day. Full of energy, full of life, listening to him tell of the old days was mesmerizing. We got here a friend…for life.

12) An early 1970s Ford Gran Torino. In back an old truck demands further attention – but we have to go.

13) An overview showing just a small corner of Jack’s property. There’s more stuff here than we could ever explore in the hour or so we had before we had to leave for the next stop.

14) Back when hood ornaments ruled, here, one found on an early 1950s Pontiac.

15) A 1949 Chevrolet, an every man’s car and in back a 1970s era Ford and an old grain bin.

16) A 1936 Chevrolet flanked by a couple old steel-wheeled tractors. While see lots of post World War Two era cars in old metal yards, but those from before tend to be quite rare. Another favourite era.

17) Last plated in 1951 – Saskatchewan was the…what…“Wheat Province”? They grown wheat here? Who knew.

18) A 1920s era Twin City Tractor and an equally old, roughly, McCormick Deering, by International Harvester. The former, based on our own observations (your mileage may very) was not a common make in Canada. Both have steel wheels, hand crank start, were open, cold, hot, miserable and noisy. Still, better than a team of horses I guess.

19) The 30’s Chevrolet seen earlier. It’s still got a spare!

20) Rows of old metal – God we could shoot here all day – in front a that ’49 Chevrolet – but again, we have to go.

21) On the way to Jack’s Elevator, this lonely old farm house. He knows the story – and we’ll be back!

1959 Dodge Car

2) A stylish 1959 Dodge.

22) Eureka, our destination. His metal yard was a nice diversion, but there’s work to be done, a movie to be shot at this here building. Keep an eye open, it’ll appear in its own article soon enough.

23) Some of the team, Chris, trademark yellow, Rob Pohl and partially hidden, photographer Byron Robb, chat it up with Jack. He’s the smart one here, keeping to his truck. Filming here in Fusilier – that’s the town we’re in (BTW, it’s on private property) – just wrapped and soon we’d say our goodbyes – holding back the tears, Jack was a dear. We don’t want the magic to end – and it’s been nothing but that – but the next town on our shooting schedule beckons.

This film we’ve been talking about? Do tell! Coming from Rueben Tschetter’s Cache Productions, it follows Team BIGDoer, and a motley crew of dedicated photographers (Rob and Byron mentioned earlier), as together they explore the “Forgotten Prairies”, taking in places like what you’ve seen here. The film has just been completed (these things take time), just premiered some weeks back, is up for an award, and a full copy will be posted here soon. Stay tuned folks.

Towns seen in the film…
Forgotten Prairie: Fusilier.
Forgotten Prairie: Esther Alberta.
Forgotten Prairie: Loverna.
Forgotten Prairie: Hoosier Saskatchewan.

More forgotten metal…
Stettler County Collection – Part 1 (there’s a link to part two in the piece).
SS Hosmer.
Lakefront Collection.

If you wish more information on what you’ve seen here, by all means contact us!

Date: April, 2017.
Location: West Central Saskatchewan.
Article references and thanks: Old Jack.
Jack’s place is private property

International KB Truck

3) Jack’s Hill, the highest point around (by SK standards, a mountain).

Fargo LCF Truck

4) Fargo, seen in Canada, but not the US.

Homemade Airplane

5) Our host…and his airplane.

Old Boiler

6) All kinds of interesting metal in this yard.

Homemade Car

7) Photographer Rob Pohl listens as Jack describes his homemade car.


8) A random find…

Rueben Tschetter Cache Productions

9) Frozen filmmaker Rueben Tschetter shooting “Forgotten Prairie”.

Ford Model T

10) The first car to be produced in huge numbers, a Ford Model T.

Old Jack

11) Old Jack, the storyteller.

1972 Ford Gran Torino

12) 1970s Ford Gran Torino.

Old Metal Yard Saskatchewan

13) One small corner in the collection.

Pontiac Hood Ornament

14) 1950s Pontiac Hood Ornament.

1949 Chevrolet

15) Two old timers in retirement.

1936 Chevrolet

16) Now we’re talking – this 1930s Chevrolet.

Old Saskatchewan License Plate

17) Saskatchewan, the “Wheat Province”.

Twin City Tractor

18) Left, an uncommon Twin City.

1936 Chevrolet Car

19) The Chevrolet seen a few pics back, back side view – and a fine one it is.

Forgotten Metal Saskatchewan

20) We have to hit the road…a last over the shoulder glimpse.

Abandoned Farm Saskatchewan

21) On the road to Jack’s Grain Elevator, this abandoned farm.

Fusilier Saskatchewan

22) Target sighted!

Fusilier SK Ghost Town

23) A motley crew in blustery conditions – Jack’s elevator in back.


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20 Comments on "Old Jack’s"

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jason sailer
jason sailer

Love it!

Colleen Lynk
Colleen Lynk

Amazing pieces of history!

Ron Parks
Ron Parks

…an amazing story teller.


Wow!! What a place! Also can’t wait to see the movie, I would’ve liked to have been able to see it when it premiered. Awesome as always BigDoer!

Gary Makota
Gary Makota

This is one of my favorites pieces so far. There is so much great stuff to check out. Love your work!

Kim Herbert-Nielsen
Kim Herbert-Nielsen

That’s very beautiful.

Barry Reed
Barry Reed

Love it!

Connie Biggart
Connie Biggart

So much character in Old Jack!

Christina Noonan
Christina Noonan

Nice! Thank you for sharing these great photos.

Bob fisher
Bob fisher

Wow. Great place.