ALBERTA PACIFIC GRAIN ELEVATOR
Alberta Pacific Grain Elevator (1910)
1910 Alberta Pacific Grain Elevator
A. P. G. Elevator
Castor Grain Elevator
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
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.
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)
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;
- 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.
- mass, form, and style;
- exterior wooden clapboard siding;
- fenestration pattern and style, including original windows.
- original fittings and machinery, including motor.
- walkway between elevator and office;
- grassy berm leading up to drive shed.
Province of Alberta
Historical Resources Act
Provincial Historic Resource
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Extraction and Production
- Developing Economies
- Trade and Commerce
Function - Category and Type
- Food Supply
- Grain Elevator
Architect / Designer
Alberta Pacific Grain Company
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