Back in August 2014 I took two days (Aug 8-9) to photograph every grain elevator in southwest Manitoba. Here's part 1 and part 2 and part 3.
In part 3 I followed the former CP Lyleton subdivision to photograph grain elevators at Deloraine, Waskada, Dalny and Coulter. Since I was ahead of schedule, I deviated from my trip plan to visit Elva... home of probably the oldest grain elevator in Manitoba.
On my way there, I saw the modern Cargill grain elevator outside of Elva. This monstrosity can hold 24,500 tonnes of grain. It was built by Agricore in 2000 and purchased by Cargill in 2007 and recently expanded to its present capacity.
I hope you noticed the locomotive there!
Elva received rail service in 1892 and was initially served by a portable train station until a permanent station was built in the early 1920s. Apparently it was closed in 1950 and moved to Melita, where it is a private residence today.
Elva initially had a water tank and coal dock but the local water was unsuitable. It had a stock yard until it was demolished in 1962, and the loading platform and passing track were removed in 1964. Today Elva can watch the CP trains roll by on the CP Estevan subdivision but there is no siding in town.
Elva never had more than about 150 people. By the 1960s it was in decline and in 1974 the school was closed, usually the death-knell of Prairie towns. The general store and post office closed in 1980. In 1982 the population of Elva was 43 and I dare say it is less today. Thanks to Our First Century - Town of Melita and Municipality of Arthur for most of this information.
Elva currently has two grain elevators, a Lake of the Woods elevator and a United Grain Growers elevator. I love that Lake of the Woods elevator.
This is an elevator with a lot of character! It is thought to be the oldest grain elevator in Canada, having been built sometime between 1892 and 1899.
Note the distant Cargill elevator.
The UGG elevator looks .. not bad on this side.
However, a look at the far side reveals a different story.
The gaping holes in the elevator don't bode well for this old sentinel.
One last look at the Lake of the Woods elevator before moving on..
In part 5 we finish our tour of the former CP Lyleton subdivison by visiting Cameron and Lyleton, and also visit Pierson before tying up in Melita for the night. Read the next post.
See also: Elva grain elevators on Manitoba Grain Elevators