Anne Elliott

Anne Elliott

Posted on 02/08/2014

Photo taken on January 25, 2014

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single composite
former Alberta Wheat Pool elevator
SE of Calgary
grain elevator
Alberta history

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Showing its age

Showing its age
Friends and I ended up driving through the hamlet of Herronton (SE of Calgary) on 25 January 2014, and stopped long enough to take a few shots of the old grain elevator there. Not fun walking even a few steps, as the recent melting snow has frozen over everywhere. I'm puzzled by this image, as the white paint drops are running sideways - the windows must have been painted before being installed. The green siding of the elevator does run horizontally.

"There were 1,651 elevators in Alberta in 1951, but by 1982 a total of 979 elevators remained. The 1990s spelled the death of the wooden “country” or “primary” elevator. At the end of the 1990s, as the full impact of both of the ending of the Crow Rate in 1995 and further impending rail abandonment was felt, the pace of demolition accelerated at an unprecedented rate. At the end of the 1996-1997 crop year, there were only 327 elevators left. Alberta’s largest cooperative grain companies, the Alberta Wheat Pool (which amalgamated with Manitoba Pool Elevators in 1998 as Agricore) and United Grain Growers, ultimately formed a new corporate entity known as Agricore United in 2001, issuing issued public shares. Demolition of country elevators has continued, and in 2005 there were only 156 wooden elevators of any kind still standing, only a handful of which are used by the grain trade.

The Government of Alberta has recognised the significance of the traditional wood grain elevators, and has designated 12 as Provincial Historic Resources. They are located in the following communities: Andrew, Castor, Leduc, Meeting Creek, Paradise Valley, Radway, Rowley (3 elevators), Scandia and St. Albert (2 elevators)."

"The Herronton elevator is a large former Alberta Wheat Pool elevator. The rail line here is not used. The last grain trains were loaded here a long, long time ago (late 1990s/early 2000s). This massive “single composite” elevator dates from 1965 having been rebuilt from an earlier structure (dating from 1930)."