Fleming Grain Elevator
Fleming Grain Elevator
Lake of the Woods Milling Company Elevator
Former Sask Wheat Pool Elevator
Former UGG Elevator
Links and documents
1895/01/01 to 1895/12/31
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Fleming Grain Elevator is a Provincial Heritage Property consisting of a 0.145 hectare (0.36 acre) lot on South Railway Street adjacent to the CPR Right of Way in the Town of Fleming. The property features a wood-crib, hip-roof grain elevator constructed in 1895, with an attached receiving shed and office building.
The Fleming Grain Elevator is significant because it is the oldest standing grain elevator on its original site in Canada. Constructed in 1895, this 32,000-bushel capacity elevator was one of several built by the Lake of the Woods Milling Company to supply its Ontario-based flour mills. The first elevators appeared on the prairies in the early 1880s following the arrival of the railway. At their peak, over 3000 stood in Saskatchewan’s towns and villages so that by the 1920s a row of grain elevators characterized prairie towns. Wood-crib grain elevators became obsolete with the introduction of inland terminals and the subsequent rationalization of the grain handling system. Despite diminishing numbers, the traditional grain elevator continues to be an enduring symbol of Saskatchewan’s rural, agricultural identity.
The heritage value of the Fleming Grain Elevator also lies in its materials and form. The Fleming elevator is distinguished by its hip-roof, a design variation built between 1880 and 1910, the formative years of the modern grain handling system. This type of elevator, with its shorter stature and narrow cupola, was superseded by the “standard plan” sloping-shoulder style which became common in the decades to follow. The Fleming elevator utilizes traditional wood-crib construction which consists of boards laid horizontally and nailed together. Wagons and later trucks delivered grain to the attached receiving shed. Inside the elevator, an elevating leg, which consisted of cups attached to a mechanically powered vertical conveyor belt, scooped up the grain and carried it to the top of the elevator where a distributor channelled the load into one of several bins until it could be loaded into railcars for shipment. The leg was powered by an engine located in the basement of the detached office building. Both the receiving shed and the office were rebuilt and reconfigured during the active life of the elevator to accommodate changes in technology.
The Fleming Grain Elevator is also significant because of its association with Canada’s grain handling system. By 1911, Canada was the world’s largest wheat exporter. Grain elevators mechanised the job of loading grain cars, making the handling of grain cheaper, quicker and less labour intensive. Grain was hauled from nearby farms to the local elevator where it was weighed, cleaned and graded. From the elevator, grain was loaded into rail cars and transported to grain terminals, such as those in Thunder Bay and Vancouver, for export.
Province of Saskatchewan, Notice of Intention to Designate as Provincial Heritage Property under The Heritage Property Act, November 24, 2005.
Province of Saskatchewan, Order to Designate as Provincial Heritage Property under The Heritage Property Act, February 23, 2006.
The heritage value of the Fleming Grain Elevator lies in the following-character defining elements:
- those elements which reflect its status as the oldest standing grain elevator on its original site in Canada and those elements common to wood-crib grain elevators constructed between 1880 and 1910, including the squat standard plan, hipped roof with cupola, wood crib construction, metal siding, and the Lake of the Woods corporate signage of which traces are still apparent on the west side of the elevator;
- those elements which speak to its function as a grain elevator and its role in the grain handling system, including the receiving shed and ramps, the elevating leg and weigh scales, the wood frame office structure and the elevator’s orientation on its original site next to the CPR mainline.
Government of Saskatchewan
Heritage Property Act, s. 39(1)
Provincial Heritage Property
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Extraction and Production
Function - Category and Type
- Historic or Interpretive Site
- Food Supply
- Grain Elevator
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Heritage Conservation Branch,
Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport,
3211 Albert Street,
Regina, Saskatchewan S4S 5W6
Cross-Reference to Collection