I have wanted to write a “top 10” grain elevator post for this site for a while. I wasn’t sure exactly what the criteria would be to choose the “top 10.” Obviously it would be subjective. I started going through the list of almost 200 grain elevators that still exist in Manitoba, eliminating the modern concrete elevators right away. I started compiling a “favorites” list but it had significantly more than 10 elevators in it!
Then I thought… Trackside Photographer . . . trackside . . . maybe I should choose the top 10 grain elevators that are still trackside! Brilliant! However, that eliminated a lot of my favorite elevators from contention. That wouldn’t do.
In the end, I chose a mix of actual trackside elevators plus a few that have not had railway tracks beside them for decades. It’s all subjective. I hope you like them. Read more
Meadows, Manitoba Grain Elevator and Annex
1912 – 2017
Meadows, Manitoba is located approximately 20 miles west of Winnipeg on Hwy # 221 in the Rural Municipality of Rosser, MB. Meadows is a village comprised of a dozen properties and farms that the Canadian Pacific mainline on the Carberry subdivision passes through.
In 1912 a small grain storage elevator was erected in the town to accommodate the local farmers during harvest. After a brief private ownership, the elevator was sold to N.M Paterson & Sons, now known as Paterson Global Foods. In 1922, the same year it was purchased by N.M Paterson & Sons, it was destroyed by fire. It was quickly replaced by a 30,000 bushel capacity elevator the following year powered by what was then a modern 12 HP elevator motor. Read more
The Scene in 1984
Among my nearly annual visits to the Canadian West, 1984 was a momentous year . At Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, I spent time trackside observing and photographing the many Canadian National (CN) and Canadian Pacific (CP) freight trains, as well as VIA Rail passenger trains that emanated from the provincial capital of Winnipeg, fifty-five miles to the east. At Portage, more lines (subdivisions) spread out. During that June visit, my genial hosts (aunt and uncle!) let me use their Toyota to visit many nearby Manitoba towns.
While the Western Canadian grain industry was contracting—undergoing major changes—I realized that the handwriting was on the wall for Canada’s wooden “country” elevators. Consequently, I made the effort to photograph them. While doing so, I noticed myriad trackside details that completed the Manitoba trackside scene. Read more
The Trackside Photographer is pleased to present a new gallery of photographs by Eric Gagnon.
Prairie Elegy documents the final days of Western Canada’s Wooden Crib Grain Elevators. These evocative pictures record a time 30 years ago when the iconic structures were disappearing from the prairie landscape.
Eric wrote about his trip in “Wheat Filled Wonders” which we published in June. Now he generously shares 43 additional photos taken during the 1980’s as he traveled across Saskatchewan and Manitoba, following the tracks of the Canadian Pacific and Canadian National railroads that served the grain industry. The wooden elevators are now gone.
Prairie Elegy is listed under the Galleries menu at the top of the page, or click here to view.