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Vanishing Sentinels

by Christine Hayes - 0 Comment(s)

PC 842

Slim Moorehouse at Vulcan Grain Elevator

Postcards from the Past, PC 842

It is not difficult to wax poetic about the grain elevator. My earliest interest in built history was in these sentinels of the prairie. As I drove the backroads of Southern Alberta I would stop and photograph elevator after elevator and marvel at the simple elegance of their structure. They were often the hub of the community, a meeting place as well as a place of business. I remember, very dimly, a visit to the "coop" elevator in Shipman, Saskatchewan with my great-uncle (I could almost spell, and to me it looked like coop, who knew co-op at 4?) It was a scary place with noise and dust but it was a fun place, too, with the farmers "chewing the fat" and catching up on news of the town.

But the world is changing, and these giants are disappearing. Jim Pearson, in his book Vanishing Sentinels: The Remaining Grain Elevators of Alberta and British Columbia, has documented the ones that still stand. He will be visiting the Calgary Public Library on Wednesday March 18 at 6 PM in the meeting room on the 4th Floor of the Central Library. Jim's presentation includes photographs of grain elevators and information about their history and how they work. You can also visit Jim's website to find information about his book and other projects.

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