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ALBERTA WHEAT POOL GRAIN ELEVATOR

Paradise Valley, Alberta, T0C, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2008/09/30

1929 Alberta Wheat Pool Grain Elevator Provincial Historic Resource, Paradise Valley (November 2005); Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management, 2005
North and east elevations
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Other Name(s)

ALBERTA WHEAT POOL GRAIN ELEVATOR
Paradise Valley Grain Elevator
Alberta Wheat Pool Elevator (old Elevator)
Paradise Valley - Alberta Pool Elevator Co. - Elevator
1929 Alberta Wheat Pool Grain Elevator

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1929/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/10/28

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Alberta Wheat Pool Grain Elevator site is situated on 0.878 hectares in the Village of Paradise Valley. The grain elevator complex includes a 40-000 bushel capacity grain elevator with attached drive shed built in 1929, a 40,000 bushel-capacity annex added in 1962, and a 1990s addition constructed on the north side of the annex. The site also includes a detached elevator office and powerhouse building and a combined storage shed and outhouse. A small train station also stands on the site but is not included in the designation.

Heritage Value

The heritage value of the Alberta Wheat Pool Grain Elevator at Paradise Valley lies in its association with the dominant method of storing and transporting grain in Alberta throughout most of the twentieth century. It is also valued as an icon of Alberta's agricultural and social history.


The late 1920s were boom times for Alberta farmers as higher yields and an expansion of markets swelled the coffers of the province's agriculturalists. The prosperity of the period prompted the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1929 to construct a spur line from Saskatchewan west across the Alberta border and to subdivide the townsite of Paradise Valley. Earlier settlement had occurred in the Paradise Valley area, but the potential of the region was necessarily limited by its distance from a railway line. The arrival of steel in the late 1920s stimulated a rapid growth in the community's agricultural infrastructure as grain elevators were erected to facilitate storage and transportation of local produce. Although Paradise Valley maintained only a modest population, it boasted six elevators at the height of its prosperity, including structures associated with the United Grain Growers, Searle Grain Company, Western Grain Company, McCabe Brothers Grain Company, and Federal Grain Company. The 1929 construction of the Alberta Wheat Pool (AWP) elevator in the community reflected the growing importance of co-operative organization among provincial farmers by the end of the 1920s. By the 1980s, the Alberta Wheat Pool had acquired control of all the remaining elevators in Paradise Valley. In subsequent years, as the AWP shifted the focus of its operations from smaller, local elevators to larger, district facilities, and as the highway system north of the community improved, all but one of the grain elevators in Paradise Valley were torn down.

Grain elevators are singular symbols of the Prairies, reflecting the province's deep economic and social connections to agricultural life and providing striking vertical landmarks against the often monotonous flatness of the West. Like other grain elevator sites in rural Alberta, the Alberta Wheat Pool Grain Elevator site was an integral part of Paradise Valley's social fabric. The site encapsulates a pattern that defines the history of many rural communities - the growth of settlement following the arrival of the railway and the construction of grain elevators, the rise of the co-operative ethos that changed the face of grain marketing in western Canada, and the closing of grain handling facilities with improvements to the province's transportation infrastructure. The elevator complex thus represents in microcosm a whole range of changes to rural economy and society during the twentieth century.

Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 1836)

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Alberta Wheat Pool Grain Elevator site include such features as:

Grain elevator and annex:
- mass, form, and scale;
- extant traditional wood crib construction;
- horizontal wood siding;
- maroon and white paint colour scheme;
- "ALBERTA WHEAT POOL LTD PARADISE VALLEY" signage;
- fenestration pattern and style;
- arrangement of doors, including large drive shed doors;
- historic interior elements, including equipment and machinery.

Office:
- mass, form, and scale;
- exterior pressed metal cladding;
- fenestration pattern;
- original interior elements.

Combined storage and outhouse building:
- mass, form, and scale;
- fenestration pattern;
- pattern of doors;
- maroon painted wood exterior.

Landscape:
- spatial relationship to railway right-of-way;
- grassy berm driveway leading up to drive shed.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Alberta

Recognition Authority

Province of Alberta

Recognition Statute

Historical Resources Act

Recognition Type

Provincial Historic Resource

Recognition Date

2008/09/30

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

n/a

Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Extraction and Production
Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce

Function - Category and Type

Current

Leisure
Museum

Historic

Food Supply
Grain Elevator

Architect / Designer

n/a

Builder

n/a

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch, Old St. Stephen's College, 8820 - 112 Street, Edmonton, AB T6G 2P8 (File: Des. 1836)

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

4665-0659

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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