Sunday, November 16, 2014

Thoughts on the Sanford Grain Elevator

I put a call out for guest posts on my mailing list, and Glen aka "The Busman" offered up his post on the Sanford grain elevator. I appreciated that, but since it's not a new post, I decided to quote from it and offer up my own commentary and photos in addition to Glen's.

Glen lives near Sanford and observed the sad state of Sanford's single grain elevator back in the spring of 2011.
I was driving aimlessly around our town today, small little town that it is, when I looked at our lone grain elevator and saw what sad shape it is in. Did this just happen over the winter, or has it been like this for years. Like this elevator aged 30 years overnight. Yet I see it everyday! Sort of like seeing a friend that you haven't seen in ages and your first glance makes you do a double take, " Man has that guy gotten older or what.?"
He wrote a great post on it showing the deterioration of the exterior of the elevator, plus a few glimpses of the interior as it was open to the elements.

Well, I'm not one to refuse an open door invitation as it were, so a quick look over the shoulder, all's clear, and in I went. Spooky is the first thing that comes to mind. Even though it is daylight and bright sunshine outside....eery shadows and diffused sunlight combine to set the stage for a Stephen King Horror flick. Old grain lying about, spider webs hung just right, real good movie scene props in here.
There are some great interior views on his blog. I found it very interesting that the elevator has two elevating legs.
Glen's photo

The Sanford elevator was built by the Manitoba Pool in 1948.

I photographed the elevator for the first time in January 2010 when chasing a CEMR train. At the time I didn't realize there was an elevator in Sanford so I shot the train north of Sanford. After seeing the elevator in the distance, I rushed to Sanford and photographed the train by the elevator.

You can see that a lot of the aluminum siding was missing at that time.

Fast forward to 2014... Glen emailed me to warn me that the elevator might be torn down, so I drove out to take my photos when I could.

This side didn't look so bad...

Check out the other side, though.

That's quite a large hole in the annex. Also note how much more of the siding had fallen off in the 4 years since I last photographed it.

Glen contacted me later to say that the elevator was being repaired, not torn down! I was so glad to hear that. I took the kids out and we had a look at the work in progress. Glen updated his post as well to show the work.

You might recall I chased a CEMR train to Sanford at the end of last month.

In these days of elevators being torn down (Carey came down recently, and the elevator row in Warner AB was reduced by two last week) it is gratifying to see some elevators are being maintained and repaired.

I'll let Glen have the last word. Thanks for the article, Glen! Please go read his blog at - it's good!
Word has it they are returning next year to complete the work and rebuild a gaping structural hole on the east side and then re skin as well. Someone suggested they should turn this elevator into a museum and community space, similar to what they did to the elevator in the town of Plum Coulee in southern Manitoba. Either way, I'm glad the elevator will continue to stand guard over our little town for years to come.

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