Ready for a new life: local family works to save 100-year-old barn

A Prince Albert nurse is working to restore a piece of her family’s history by relocating an almost 100-year-old barn owned by her grandfather from the old Cheveldayoff farm by Blaine Lake to her property near Spruce Home, Sask.

When June Vezeau and her husband Glenn were ready to add a building to their new acreage, they settled on moving in June’s grandfather, John Cheveldayoff’s, barn that he and his brothers built from fir in the 1930’s.

With the help of Neufeld Building Movers in Warman, the barn travelled more than 100 kilometres and safely landed on new concrete, “ready for a new purpose and a new life,” said June.

Red barns play a significant part in the history of the Cheveldayoff family. June’s great grandparents, Alex and Mary Cheveldayoff, had five sons. As each son married, the newlyweds moved in with Alex and Mary for two years to help on the family farm. In exchange, each brother in turn received a red barn, a sturdy house and a half-section of land.

According to June, the brothers worked together building each home and barn and farmed together throughout their lives. In the summer, the brothers helped put Blaine Lake on the map by travelling to local sports days as members of the successful Rosthern Wheat Kings baseball team.

June’s mother, Mercedes Montgomery (Cheveldayoff), sat in the garage and watched the Neufeld’s crew drive past and lower the barn onto its new home, marveling at the piece of her father’s legacy.

“It’s like seeing a favourite relative again and remembering how much you liked being with them,” said Montgomery.

“Red barns are iconic to the landscapes of Saskatchewan but are slowly disappearing. As the wind and time take their toll, they slowly sink to the ground,” said June.

She and her husband plan to slowly restore the old heritage building back to its former glory, “ensuring that this particular prairie icon will see many more prairie sunsets for many more years to come.”

Bailey Sutherland, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Albert Daily Herald