The town of Chaplin, Saskatchewan has a single grain elevator, an ex Saskatchewan Wheat Pool elevator.
The original wood crib elevator and wood crib annex were built in 1962. They received a major upgrade in 1991, including one steel grain storage bin. 3 steel bins were added in 2014. A seed cleaning plant was added in 2014, along with a major expansion of office space and a full renovation.
The elevator is now owned by the Chaplin Grain Corporation.
The RM, Village, and Lake all share the name of Henry Chaplin, a gentleman that came to the area in 1861 to hunt buffalo. The village served as a coal and water restocking point for the CP Rail in the early 1900s, and by 1908 Chaplin had become an active community with many services.
Between the RM and Village, nearly 500 people live in the area. The region has a diversified economic base with agriculture as the focus, with farms producing cereal grains, oilseeds, pulses, and herds of cattle and bison.
Agriculture was the dominant industry until 1948 when the mining of sodium sulphate began. There is a large salt deposit under Chaplin Lake, which envelops 15 square miles and also serves as a main component of economic activity in the region.
Saskatchewan Minerals has operated in Chaplin since 1948 and employs approximately 35 people today. Over 400,000 tonnes of sodium sulphate is produced per year and is used in producing detergents, paper, glass, and textiles.
Artemia Canada operates a brine shrimp processing plant in Chaplin and has been located in the community for over 30 years. Brine shrimp is freeze dried and used as fish food.
The area around Chaplin is becoming known as a center of Bird Watching since Chaplin Lake was designated as a Western Hemispheric Shorebird Reserve. Chaplin’s birding project features an interpretive centre complete with displays featuring themes on migration and the ecology of birds, the ecosystem of Chaplin Lake in relation to local industry and the association between wildlife and local industry.
The Village of Chaplin is home to a skating rink, curling rink, swimming pool, a fully modern campground, and golf course. The Chaplin Community Complex can easily accommodate large gatherings. Chaplin also features a modern K-12 school built in 1992, and a Volunteer Fire Department.
The elevator is located on the north side of the CPR main line and across the railroad tracks from the Village of Chaplin.
(text by Darren Bird)
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