I did a little scanning of some old aerial photographs of the farm / Paintball Paradise. I few things stand out, like the house, big barn, granaries or bins, and how lush the bush is. The first year of the corn maze was 2013, and we wrote "Paintball Paradise" in the maze as the path. I had a helicopter over fly the farm with me taking pictures, (very cool), but the windows are bubbles, and not flat, so you get some the the reflection and curves in the 2013 pictures. You can see in the background how much water is surrounding the Big Barn on 2 sides, and maybe a bit of the 3rd. The fall was really dry in the corn, and there is still that much water by the Barn. The corn maze was only 2 acres, now it's 4 acres.
2013 looks very wet, and the water was right up to the edge of the Speedball Field, and had flooded over it a bit, so a sandbag and earth blocks were started to be put into place. No 3 steel bins on the bin field, so there were moved at this point. Yellow house is easy to spot, and the Big Barn is getting surrounded by water. the Big Field was no able to be used by the Big Barn at this point anymore. You can see the small bunkers in the on the Small Field, and no roof on the cattle shed. And not much for trees north of the Bin Field. The Spruce trees there are now 10' tall, maybe 3' tall. Solar panels now show up on the right.
From 2008 below.
2008 has an awesome shot from the east, looking west. It highlights the old castle walled Speedball (enhanced with some inflatable bunkers), cool looking Bin Field (pre-Castle), and a nice shot of the Small Field (roof still on cattle shed), that has since been over grown with more and larger trees. The Big Barn has a green tin roof, and easy to spot the yellow house. Three steel bins too, and the wooden bins are looking more grey with the millions of paintballs shot. I really like this picture in the fall, with some nice fall colours of yellow, and beautiful swath patterns in the field of canola, and the water is receding alot. In 2014, the water expands so much that if we didn't build a dike along the speedball fields edge, 1/2 the Bin field would be under water, and the Speedball field was completely flooded for 4 years. We just replanted the grass on the old Speedball field in 2019, with the water down about 3 feet in depth. The water rose 4 feet in 2014. That';s a lot of water. Next up is a cool winter shot in 2002.
2002 has no green tin roof on the Big Barn. Yellow house is easy to see. This shot is looking north from the south. The Speedball field was made of round bales on the right, which I think make the best bunkers, no mess, no cleaning, and no rub of the bunkers. Plus it was always fun to watch players chasing each other around the bales. You can see small wooded bunkers on the Small Field on the bottom right, and small wooden bunkers in the Big Field behind the house, and the stack of tires along the north ridge of the Big Field. The wooden Bins look red still, they slowly fade to grey with the paintball shots over the years. Next up is 1997.
1997, this shot in the fall was the last year that I ran a combine of the fields, it was the fall that I lost my fingers on my right hand in a combine accident. I suspect this picture was take just days before my accident. Yellow house is easy to see. Only 1 steel bin. The front extra parking area is full of equipment for the farm. Looks like most of the garden has been harvested. The willows planted just 3 years before, around the water field look to be 10 feet tall already. Most of the sloughs look fairly dry. Next up is 1980.
1980, so this is a black and white photo (there are some white scratches on the left side), that has been hand painted for colour. the color photos of the 1970's would fade really badly, so in some cases the old buildings are just left nature black and white. The grain bins were painted red later, but never with one trim. Mom always liked to have sunflowers at the end of the garden, and show up nicely in this picture. Dad was still alive and ran the farm with Mom. Dad passed away in 1982 (aged 55), so we brothers all became farmers after that. There was much more bush then, as Dad knocked down a lot of trees (10 acres) in 1981, west side of the Big Field and east side of the Small Field. This is from before we even knew about paintball. Yellow house, Big Barn (no water anywhere near it), No Hut Bin, and the Round wooden bins are both still standing. Likley the HQ was full of chickens, as it was a Chicken Coupe then. The HQ was the original Lewko Homestead cabin (2 adults and 4 children) when they first arrived in 1939. Uncle Bob was born in the barn in 1941.
George Lewko PAg, is a Professional Agrologist, with a certificate in Forensic Agrology. He grew up on his farm, and started Paintball Paradise Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada in 1994. A combine accident left him with only his thumb on his right hand in 1997.