Tuesday, September 02, 2014

A Grain Elevator Loop, Part 1

Back in April 2014 I was just starting my Manitoba Grain Elevator project, and at that time I had lots of elevators to photograph near Winnipeg. On Good Friday, April 18th, the kids were off from school but my wife was working, so I decided to take them along and photograph some elevators. Child abuse, I know.

We set off from Winnipeg and headed down highway 2, which parallels the CP Glenboro subdivision for quite a distance. I had of course scouted out some locations using Google Maps and Street View so I had a route selected. I had never been along the Glenboro so it was exciting (to me) that way as well.

The first elevator we saw was the modern Pioneer facility in Starbuck. This large facility replaced a few local elevators.
Not the Battlestar Galactica Starbuck

After a few photographs, I carried on to the next location, Fannystelle. Don't you love the name?

Fannystelle has a modern Viterra grain elevator beside the highway, but I spied an old wooden elevator tucked into the town. It turns out it was a private elevator, owned by Stevens & Company, advertising "LUMBER, COAL AND GRAIN". There is still a Stevens Lumber in town, active.
A unique elevator

The Viterra elevator is nice, I guess... although it doesn't have nearly as much character as the Stevens elevator.
Blue Prairie Monster
There's a lovely church in town as well.

Next up was the Culross grain elevator, conveniently located right beside the highway. It is an unusually-shaped elevator, very squarish, and it has no annex nor any bins for additional storage.
A sharp looking elevator

The next community was Elm Creek, which sports two grain elevators, a modern Cargill facility as well as a former Manitoba Pool grain elevator.

I honestly didn't spend much time photographing the Cargill elevator, as it is.. well.. let's be honest, butt-ugly.
Let's just call it "plain"

This is the back, but the front looks pretty much the same.
Not sure which is the "good side"

The more interesting elevator is the former Manitoba Pool grain elevator.
That's the stuff

After I took the following photograph, I had to check my camera settings.
What the heck???

I couldn't figure out what I had done wrong... until I looked up and saw this.
Ring Around a Star - anyone read "Ringworld"?

This is a solar halo, a phenomenon much like sundogs caused by ice crystals in the air. Remember, this was April!

Well, that was exciting, but it was time to carry on south. I left the Glenboro sub and headed south, paralleling what was the CP Carman subdivision. I've blogged about that before. That Pool elevator in Elm Creek was on the start of what was the CP Carman sub.

Midway between Elm Creek and Carman is Barnsley, which today is a few houses and two lovely old grain elevators. One was a Manitoba Pool elevator and one was UGG.

Aging gracefully

Once we reached Carman, we stopped to have a bite to eat at the local Co-Op, as that was one of the few places open on Good Friday. After taking care of that, we had a quick look around Carman. There are no elevators left there but there is Linear Grain, a company formed in 1981. They provide a variety of services to local producers and are rail-served by CEMR.

The train station in Carman was transformed into the home for a local arts organization, the Golden Prairie Arts Council.
Now that's the way to preserve a station!

We then headed west out of Carman toward Graysville to see the end of the CEMR Carman subdivision and the grain elevator there.
Yer basic Pool elevator with annex

The end of the Carman subdivision, mile 51.0, is pretty unexciting.
It ends.. here

When researching this post, I found a web page, Cando Modal-Logic (that appears to maybe be under construction), that hosts a very cool PDF showing maps of CEMR's facilities in Winnipeg, Carman and Barrie as well as BNSF Manitoba's facility. All of the track from Carman to Graysville is listed as a 550 car storage track so I guess the elevator isn't serviced by rail any more.

I'm going to stop here... although we didn't. In part 2 we carry on south and then retrace the former CN Miami subdivision to Morris!

PS thanks everyone for your kind comments on my recent posts - glad to see you're reading and liking what I'm writing!

Read part 2


Unknown said...

I notice the elevators in Elm Creek and Graysville have some retrofits done to the roofs, similar to what they are doing in Sanford now. Good to see a few of them fixed instead of the all too frequent tear downs.

Great series on elevators you have started Steve. Enjoying it muchly. Keep up the good work.

Steve Boyko said...

I see some elevators are going with metal roofs (like Graysville) instead of shingles - probably cost-effective in the long run, given the height!

Glad you're enjoying the elevators. I'm enjoying photographing and documenting them!

Michael said...

I think what strikes me most about these photos is what a striking contrast these old elevators represent from the surrounding landscape. Keep these posts coming. Really interesting stuff...

Steve Boyko said...

Thanks, Michael!

Anonymous said...

Sorry to inform you the graysville elevtor was demolished recently, all but the driveway and office, just noticed as I passed by the other day, and great work Steve, very interesting !!

Steve Boyko said...

Thanks for the update, Anonymous, sorry to hear that the Graysville elevator has come down.