The Dust And Dirt Column - As published in the April 2012 edition of the Country Register (Saskatchewan-Manitoba edition)
Canada’s Highway is #1!
This is an abbreviated rundown of stops potentially of interest to junkers, antiquers, history buffs, and others thus inclined, while travelling the eastern Saskatchewan/western Manitoba section of #1 from Whitewood, SK to Oak Lake, MB. Use it as a basic guide, and budget time for unplanned stops that make trips memorable! Small towns are full of them when you get looking and asking around!
Let's start at Whitewood, Saskatchewan, home of OLD GEO'S! This museum is entirely owned and operated by George Chopping himself! George is an entertaining character, and highly knowledgeable in many areas. I will leave your potential experience at this roadside attraction an intriguing mystery. Look for Ol’George, usually sporting a beard, and long grey hair under a cowboy hat, to start your adventure!
If you have daylight left after spending the day wandering around Ol’ Geo’s, Moosomin is the next major town on the road. I have not had a chance time to check out their local sites in the last few years. Make it a stop of discovery, and find its secrets on your own!
Eventually you will arrive at the village of Elkhorn, Manitoba. Their Antique Auto Museum is a car buff’s drool-fest, featuring many classic, and early, ultra-rare vehicles. Included under the same roof are other historical artifacts & oddities, including a two headed calf! As well, slip into Elkhorn and check out "Past & Present Antiques & Gifts." Just the place for shoppers to get their fix!
Twenty minutes east, Virden holds sites including a restored railway station, now housing an art gallery & gift shop. Within a stone’s throw is a circa 1900 underground pedestrian tunnel! Make certain to see the Virden Pioneer Home Museum, plus arrange a tour of the historic Aud Theatre. Explore the town by car to discover many well preserved and restored field stone buildings, among other eye pleasing sights. Treasure hunters/shoppers will want to stop at "Jam's Used Furniture" on Nelson Street. They carry an ever changing inventory of used furniture, some antique furniture, and a large section of mostly consigned antiques, collectibles and treasures of all sorts. Just across the street is the “Nearly New,” where you may find some good buys. Then, zip less than a block from there to Echo Books on 7th Ave. Their inventory includes books (obviously!), vintage items, locally sourced crystals/stone, plus other oddities!
A ten minute drive east brings you to the Buzzing Bee Bed & Breakfast, as well as Fedora Antiques & Collectibles. Yes, our place! We hope to get the store (and a country flea market) open in early summer!
I’ll conclude the list here, as I have tons of work to do before you arrive! As mentioned, this is an abbreviated list, so my apologies to anyone along the route feeling left out. Know of a stop that fits a junker’s list of interests? Drop me a line! Note that the editors do restrict my articles' lengths to only a small portion of a page...despite my ability to fill the entire paper!
Happy hunting, folks!