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ALBERTA WHEAT POOL GRAIN ELEVATOR AND BOW SLOPE STOCKYARD

EID Historic Park, Scandia, Alberta, T0J, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2008/09/30

Alberta Wheat Pool Grain Elevator, Scandia; Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch
View of grain elevator
Alberta Wheat Pool Grain Elevator and Bow Slope Stockyard, Scandia; Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch
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Other Name(s)

ALBERTA WHEAT POOL GRAIN ELEVATOR AND BOW SLOPE STOCKYARD
Alberta Wheat Pool Grain Elevator No. 1

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1927/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/03/02

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Alberta Wheat Pool Grain Elevator and Bow Slope Stockyard site consists of a grain elevator complex [elevator, office and outhouse/fuel shed] built in 1927, a short section of remaining track from the former railway line, and a nearby stockyard, all of which are located on an approximately 21-acre parcel in the Hamlet of Scandia.

Heritage Value

The Alberta Wheat Pool Grain Elevator and Bow Slope Stockyard site possesses heritage value as a rare surviving example of a once common complex of trackside structures associated with the movement of people, goods, grain and livestock among the agricultural communities of the southern Alberta. This cultural landscape is also significant for its association with the emergence of farming cooperatives that were instrumental in the development of the region

In the 1880s, the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) acquired massive tracts of land between Medicine Hat and Calgary as part of its agreement with the Dominion government to build a transcontinental railway. Seeking to attract settlement and increase rail traffic, the CPR invested in a massive irrigation project off the Bow River to water the arid lands in the region. The project was completed in 1914, though settlers did not begin arriving in large numbers until after World War One. Settlement was bolstered in the late 1920s with the construction of several branch lines in the area. The branch line from Brooks to Scandia was completed in 1927 and sparked immediate growth in the small community. The Alberta Wheat Pool Grain Elevator No. 1 was built shortly after the "arrival of steel" and served the community for half a century, from 1927 until 1977, when rail service to Scandia was discontinued. The elevator is now the centrepiece of a historical interpretive park and museum.

The Alberta Wheat Pool Grain Elevator and Bow Slope Stockyard site in Scandia encapsulates the history of many rural communities: the growth of settlement following the arrival of the railway; the construction of grain elevators; the rise of farming cooperatives; and the closing of railway lines and grain handling facilities as the province's transportation infrastructure evolved. Railways played an essential role in connecting agricultural communities, grain, and livestock with the international marketplace. Standing beside the former railway right-of-way, the Alberta Wheat Pool Grain Elevator is a striking landmark and an icon of the grassroots, cooperative ethos that inspired the formation of farmers' organizations throughout the Prairies. Also dependent on the railway, the nearby Bow Slope Stockyard reflects the historical importance of mixed farming in rural Alberta. Like the grain elevator, it embodies the cooperative spirit that was further exemplified by the establishment of the Eastern Irrigation District and the transferral of water supply management from the CPR to a cooperative of regional farmers.

Embodying these varied aspects of Alberta's history, the Alberta Wheat Pool Grain Elevator and Bow Slope Stockyard site is emblematic of the province's deep economic and social connections to agricultural life and uniquely represents in microcosm the transformation of the rural economy and society during the twentieth century.

Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 1520.)

Character-Defining Elements

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

Grain Elevator:
- location beside railway right-of-way;
- mass and form, consisting of a tall vertical structure with cupola and attached shed-roof driveway;
- historic rust-red paint colour;
- white lettering on facades reading "Alberta Pool Elevators Ltd." and "Scandia";
- cedar shingles on roof and enclosed driveway;
- historic vertical board-and-batten driveway doors;
- original fixtures, and machinery such as the driveway scale, workbenches and cupboards, manlift;
- cribbed construction of elevator and frame construction of driveway.

Agent's office:
- physical separation from elevator (for purposes of fire risk mitigation) and raised wood walkway with enclosed drive belt linking engine in office basement to elevator leg;
- mass, form, scale, and style;
- wood frame construction;
- gable roof with brick chimney;
- pressed metal cladding on exterior and interior walls, roof, ceiling, and adjoining engine room;
- original fittings, engine, and artifact collection, including industry literature posted on the walls.

Outhouse and fuel shed:
- mass, form, scale;
- historic rust-red paint colour;
- gable roof;
- three-part division for outhouse, tool and fuel storage.

Stockyard:
- proximity to railway and grain elevator;
- mass, form, and scale of buildings;
- spatial arrangement of buildings, fences, gates;
- livestock ramps;
- open shed roof livestock shelter;
- scale shed;
- construction methods and materials throughout (varies for each building).

Landscape elements:
- remnant of railway line track, including 60 lb steel rail;
- spatial relationship between buildings and landscape elements;
- concrete foundations and engine mountings from former elevators and offices (superstructures demolished).

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
Historic or Interpretive Site

Historic

Food Supply
Barn, Stable or Other Animal Housing
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. 1520)

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

4665-0602

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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