Sunday, November 30, 2014

Southwest Manitoba Elevator Trip, Part 1 of Many

You may recall that my last grain elevator trip was rather small, covering only three new grain elevators over one morning. This one... much bigger.

I had never been in southwest Manitoba, and as part of my Manitoba grain elevator project I wanted to go to the "bottom left" of MB to photograph the elevators there. If you look at my Manitoba grain elevator map, you can see there are a lot of elevators there.

My wife and I agreed that if I was going to photograph them, it was best to do them all in one trip, since it would take a couple of hours to drive to even the closest un-photographed elevator. We also agreed that she wouldn't come along. :)

I had planned on going on the August 1-3 weekend but the weather was terrible... so the following weekend was the target.

Based on my trip plan, I figured I could visit them all in two (long) days. Here was the plan:

Yeah, that's right, 48 new-to-me grain elevators at 34 locations.

I resolved to take August 8 as a vacation day and hit the road at a reasonable time of 9 AM. As it happened, I was ready to roll by 7:30 so off I went, already ahead of schedule. I drove down highway 2 past Starbuck and Fannystelle.

As I approached Culross I saw some really interesting clouds, so I had to stop and photograph them.

While passing Elm Creek, the skies opened up and it really poured for a few minutes. I thought, "oh, what a great start to this trip," but within a few minutes I popped out the other side of the storm and it was blue skies from there onward. Nice.

My first target was Baldur, and I had to pass Mariapolis on the way.

Soon after Mariapolis, I arrived in Baldur.

The single elevator has an annex and some bins. It appears to be in use, probably by a local farmer or cooperative.

It has a nice main street, well kept and apparently prosperous. Baldur Trading was quite a nice store.

Off to Cartwright. As I drove west along highway 23 I spied a few mile markers left from when the Southern Manitoba Railway had track through Baldur.

The Cartwright grain elevator is located right downtown, as is typical for grain elevators. It used to be on the CP Napinka subdivision.

A local historical society parked a tractor in a handy location...

This elevator appeared to be well-maintained as well. The next one elevator on my list... it was pretty special.

Welcome to Holmfield.

As you can see, there are two grain elevators joined together. The left one labeled "HARRISON" was built in 1926 by Harrison Milling to replace their original elevator built in 1892. The right elevator was a Federal grain elevator that was originally located several hundred feet away, but was moved to its present location several decades ago.

I photographed the elevators from the main street in the town. There's a general store in town, now closed, but full of interesting items.

There's a sign on the door dated from 2013 directing where to go to gain access to the store.

There's also an old hardware store...

Clearly it hasn't been open for a while.

I had to chuckle at the Holmfield Hilton...
It had a car in front so the building may be active in some capacity.

Holmfield was at mile 42.8 of the CP Napinka subdivision, just over 7 miles from Cartwright to the east and just under 9 miles to Killarney to the west. The current end of the Napinka sub is mile 49.0.

Oddly, Holmfield was also served by CN for a period of time! The CN Wakopa subdivision came through Holmfield but was pulled up in 1961.

Anyway, back to the grain elevators and the mill.

I noticed a car in front of the mill, so I walked up to the building and knocked. It turns out that one of the Harrison brothers was inside doing some maintenance. I talked with him for a few minutes and he supplied the details on the elevators I shared above.

On my way out I had to photograph one more derelict building.

Time was a-wasting, so I had to move on.

Next on the list was Lena.

The elevator is clearly in use by a local farmer.

Lena was on the CN Wakopa subdivision and lost rail service in 1961.

I wonder what the asking price for this building is?

Someone in Lena is collecting steam tractors!

I wrote about this tractor on Google+ - it was built sometime between 1902 and 1912 by the American-Abell Engine and Thresher Company of Toronto.

Next up was Killarney... for the next post.


Unknown said...

Loving the grain elevator posts Steve.
Be sure to include lots of old abandoned buildings as you come across them. All old buildings, be they grain elevators or what have you, have so much character oozing out of them, every angle, every photo is a winner.


Unknown said...

BTW, did you happen to get any closer shots of the Harrison Milling building with the what appears to be a fieldstone foundation, just behind the two grain elevators? That one intrigues me, especially the stone foundation.

Unknown said...

I went to your link on Holmfield and saw another shot from the Historic Sites of Manitoba. Hope you got some more you can share. :)

Canadian Train Geek said...

Hi Glen, I tried to take as many photos of the decaying buildings as I could.. but I was on a schedule so I couldn't linger too long in any place. There were plenty of abandoned farm houses I passed by that I wished I could have stopped for.

I didn't get closer shots of the Harrison Milling building and I'll tell you why. The owner I spoke with said they had some storm damage from the previous winter and he asked that I not photograph it until it was repaired. I appreciated his honesty and his request and I did not take any closer photos.

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

Steve, Chris and I (Chris and Connie BIGDoer - Connie's my nickname BTW) have got to make it out that way. So much nice stuff to see!