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ALBERTA PACIFIC GRAIN ELEVATOR

49 Avenue, Castor, Alberta, T0C, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2004/02/13

Grain Elevators, Castor (1935); Glenbow Archives, NA-1387-2
Former grain elevator row in Castor
Alberta Pacific Grain Elevator Provincial Historic Resource, Castor (June 2001); Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch, 2001
West elevation of elevator and adjacent office
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Other Name(s)

ALBERTA PACIFIC GRAIN ELEVATOR
APG Elevator
Alberta Pacific Grain Elevator (1910)
1910 Alberta Pacific Grain Elevator
Castor Elevator
A. P. G. Elevator
A.P.G. Elevator
Castor Grain Elevator

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1917/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/03/27

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Alberta Pacific Grain Elevator site comprises approximately 0.19 hectares of land in the Town of Castor and includes two early twentieth century buildings - a traditional 45,000-bushel grain elevator with attached drive shed and an office building which also houses the motor. The two buildings are connected by a walkway. The elevator was built on the standard square design and features "ALBERTA-PACIFIC GRAIN CO. LTD CASTOR" painted in white against the structure's maroon exterior.

Heritage Value

The heritage value of the Alberta Pacific Grain Elevator lies in its association with grain storage and marketing in the province and in iconic value as a symbol of Alberta's agricultural and social history.

In 1909, the Premier of Alberta, Alexander Rutherford, initiated an ambitious campaign to expand the province's railway network. His offer of lucrative bond guarantees to major railway companies willing to extend Alberta's transportation infrastructure initiated a flurry of railway line construction. One of the new lines laid proceeded west from Stettler to the Beaver Dam Creek; at the "end of steel", a new station was erected and a townsite named Castor was subdivided. The new settlement quickly became an agricultural boomtown, boasting 500 residents by 1910 and acting as a service centre for the vast agricultural hinterland in the region. The first grain elevator in the community was constructed in 1910 by the Alberta Pacific Grain Company. In 1913, the railway line was extended east past Coronation, eventually reaching into Saskatchewan and linking Castor into the vast rail network stretching across the Prairies to the grain terminals at the Lakehead. Several new elevators were erected shortly after to capitalize on Castor's integration into the domestic and international grain marketing system. In 1917, with Europe's increased demand for wheat during World War One and bumper crops on the Prairies, the Alberta Pacific Grain Co. Ltd. decided that its original 1910 elevator with a 35,000-bushel capacity was too small and replaced it with the current 45,000-bushel elevator. This elevator was sold to the Federal Grain Co. in 1967 and subsequently owned by the Alberta Wheat Pool and the United Grain Growers. The elevator is one of the earliest of these Prairie icons still standing in the province. It remains a striking visual reminder of Castor's prosperity during World War One and an enduring symbol of Alberta's agricultural and social history.

The Alberta Pacific Grain Elevator site features an elevator with attached driveway and an office building housing the motor. The elevator exemplifies the standard square elevator design with traditional wood crib construction and is a fine embodiment of the Prairie Vernacular Industrial architectural style. Possessing a capacity of 45,000 bushels, the Alberta Pacific Grain Elevator contains all the essential elements of a functional grain elevator, including a drive shed, conveyor, Gerber wheel, and man lift, as well as square vertical woodbins, weigh scales and hoppers. The office is a bi-level frame structure finished on the exterior with horizontal siding. The motor for powering the distribution system is located in the basement of the office building.

Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 2088)

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Alberta Pacific Grain Elevator include such features as:

Grain elevator with attached drive shed:
- mass, form, and style;
- steel tank at grade level and below the area between the outside foundations;
- traditional wood crib construction;
- sheathing and horizontal siding painted maroon;
- "Alberta-Pacific Grain Co. Ltd Castor" signage painted in white;
- cupola;
- fenestration pattern and style;
- arrangement and style of doors, including large drive shed doors;
- trackside platform, doors, ladder, and spout;
- drive shed;
- original design elements, material, and machinery such as manlift and Gerber wheel.

Office building:
- mass, form, and style;
- exterior wooden clapboard siding;
- fenestration pattern and style, including original windows.
- original fittings and machinery, including motor.

Landscape:
- walkway between elevator and office;
- grassy berm 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

2004/02/13

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

Historic

Food Supply
Grain Elevator

Architect / Designer

n/a

Builder

Alberta Pacific Grain Company

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. 2088)

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

4665-0876

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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