Tuesday 21 July 2020

Kind of a ghost town story

I was in Bateman, Saskatchewan on July 18, 2020. Bateman is listed as a ghost town and according to the internet the population was zero in 2000. I went to to see the old brick church that I have seen pictures of on the internet. Bateman has a few buildings left.

I got there and found that someone is living in the church. I parked my truck and tried to get the attention of a woman in the yard. She walked into the church and closed the door. I do not think she noticed me. I managed to get a white haired fellow to notice I was there and started talking to  him. The two of them recently moved into the church from British Columbia and were restoring it. There were about four ladders against the outside wall and some scaffolding.

I asked if I could take a photo of the church. He did not want me to. The reason is that he would rather I take a photo when the outside is restored. The trim had been painted. There was work done in the yard. He and her live in the basement and are going to turn the main floor into a gallery. He is a retired graphic artist. I do not see how a gallery in a ghost town that is not on any main or secondary highways is going to generate much revenue. There are a few idealistic types out there that like to go to rural places and set up shop. Hopefully they are wildly successful. Personally I have other retirement options in mind.

He said they fixed the heating system. Worked on the wiring. Was plastering the interior. He wanted the building repairs to look true to the original. I wished him luck and told  him I was impressed with what they were doing. It is a lot of time, effort, and expense to take on a project like this. I might try and swing back in the fall to get photos of the outside and he was fine with that. He said it should be done by then.


  1. Lets hope they have access to high speed internet. It seems a long drive from any population centre.
    But perhaps google maps is deceiving...

  2. I suppose they could technically run a business virtually from there but certainly couldn't rely on walk-in traffic. Good that they're putting the effort (and $$) into restoration though.

  3. A lot of gallery stuff depends on foot traffic, word of mouth, and impulse purchases. Being out in the sticks(does even mean anything on the prairies?) means you're really good or really optimistic.

    Is 718 a busy road?