Check out our list of grain elevator books! There are tons of books about Canadian grain elevators, American ones, and grain elevators in general. See classics like Greg McDonnell’s Wheat Kings and newer ones like Chris Attrell’s Grain Elevators: Beacons of the Prairies.
Welcome to Aidan Wakely-Mulroney!
I’d like to welcome a new contributor, Aidan Wakely-Mulroney! He contributed a collection of grain elevator photos from Alberta and the northwestern USA to Grain Elevators of Canada. Please visit Aidan’s contributor page to learn more. Thank you, Aidan!
Digitally Preserving Grain Elevators
Students from several Alberta universities and colleges are working to digitally preserve grain elevators in Alberta. This CBC article describes the work they are doing to record the Nanton grain elevators using NavVis digital mapping devices. I believe they have already recorded the Wrentham elevator.
Wooden grain elevators are being demolished every year and there aren’t many left. Initiatives like this, and sites like this one, are crucial to record these prairie sentinels before they are gone.
I love that technology like digital mapping, drones, satellite imagery, and digital cameras are all being used to record grain elevators. They are a great complement to film photographs from the heyday of wooden grain elevators, like the Donald Hamilton collection, the Howdy McPhail collection and the Ole Kirkhus collection.
Please consider contributing to our site to help preserve the memory of these elevators.
2023 Grain Elevator Calendars
Contributors Jason Paul Sailer and Mark David Zulkoskey are offering grain elevator calendars for 2023.
- Grain Elevators Across the Prairies by Mark Zulkoskey
- Wheat Kings 2023 by Jason Paul Sailer
Please consider buying one of their calendars!
Help Preserve a Grain Elevator
Please consider donating to preserve a grain elevator. The Ogilvie Wooden Grain Elevator Society owns the former Ogilvie grain elevator in Wrentham, Alberta, south of Lethbridge. This historic elevator is in its original location and is the last Ogilvie elevator left in Alberta, and one of very few remaining in Canada.
Wooden grain elevators are costly to maintain. Every donation helps! Your donation is tax deductible for Canadians.
Oldest Grain Elevator Being Dismantled
Regretfully, the former Lake of the Woods grain elevator in Elva, Manitoba is being dismantled. This grain elevator became the oldest remaining grain elevator in the Canadian prairies after the Fleming elevator was destroyed by arson.
There are actually two elevators in Elva, and a newer concrete elevator outside of town. The newer elevator in Elva is a former UGG elevator. The Lake of the Woods elevator is a short, squat elevator and was built in 1897.
The elevators will be dismantled and the cladding, boards and nails will be sold.
New Elevators for a New Year
We wish you a very belated “happy new year” for 2022. As a late gift for the new year, here are some “new to us” grain elevators to share, and some updates on existing elevators. We have been scanning more of the Donald Hamilton collection of grain elevator photos, as well as acquiring other images, and we have lots to share. Here are the new elevators for Grain Elevators of Canada, by province or state:
- Darlingford, Manitoba
- Foxwarren, Manitoba
- Hargrave, Manitoba
- Kemnay, Manitoba
- Kirkella, Manitoba
- Mather, Manitoba
- McCauley, Manitoba
- Menzie, Manitoba
- Pilot Mound, Manitoba
- Poplar Point, Manitoba
- Portage la Prairie, Manitoba
- Rosenfeld, Manitoba
- Ste. Rose, Manitoba
Two Canadian Grain Elevator Calendars
Two contributors to this site, Mark Zulkoskey and Jason Paul Sailer, are offering 2022 Canadian grain elevator calendars for sale. I encourage you to check both calendars out and buy one – or both!
Jason’s calendar is called “Wheat Kings 2022“.
Mark’s is called “Grain Elevators of the Prairies“.
Fire Destroys “Dog River” Elevator
Regrettably, fire has claimed the last grain elevator in Rouleau, Saskatchewan. This ex Saskatchewan Wheat Pool elevator was made famous by the Corner Gas TV series, and it was relabeled as “Dog River” for the show.
The CBC reported that fire crews were called between 2 and 3 AM on November 5, 2021to the fire. By then it was fully involved and the fire crews worked to keep the fire from spreading.
Photos show the elevator was completely destroyed, with only a few pieces of scorched equipment remaining. Rail cars in the adjacent siding were scorched.
The elevator was built in 1973 and sold to a local farmer in the mid 1990s. It was used for storing grain for a while but had been dormant for the past few years.
Grain Elevators: Beacons of the Prairies
Photographer Chris Attrell has partnered with author Christine Hanlon to produce a beautiful book featuring Canada’s grain elevators, Grain Elevators: Beacons of the Prairies. This 128 page hardcover book contains numerous full colour images of the grain elevators in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.
Amazon links on this site are affiliate links, meaning that I earn a small commission if you purchase something using those links.
The stars of the book are the grain elevators, evocatively photographed in all seasons in night and day. The photographs are large and colourful and are all captioned with details about the elevators and/or the area.
I must disclose that I was the copy editor for this book – and I was paid for it – so I am quite familiar with the book’s contents and I am definitely biased in its favour. It was a pleasure to work with Christine, Chris and Vernon from publisher MacIntyre-Purcell on this book.
You can view the virtual book launch below.
The book includes numerous sidebars describing aspects of grain elevators and the people and companies who built them. It is not “just a picture book”!
Several of the grain elevators featured in the book were photographed by Chris before their demolition, and the elevators at Winnipegosis and Pierson were demolished while the book was being completed. Poignantly, Homewood and Lowe Farm‘s elevators are featured in the book but were demolished soon after this book was released.
This book has been produced to the same level of quality as Chris’ previous book, Forgotten Saskatchewan, which was a best seller in its class on Amazon.
If you like grain elevators, you should get this book. It’s available from McNally Robinson and from Amazon (below).