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An elevator at Solsgirth was built in 1961 by National Grain. Sold to Cargill Grain in 1975, the elevator and its annexes were destroyed by fire on December 16, 1981, shortly after undergoing an extensive renovation costing some $750,000. It was replaced by a new composite-style elevator constructed in mid-1982. Traded to Manitoba Pool in June 1995, the elevator was closed by Agricore United in 2002. It is now used for private grain storage.

PHOTOS: This Old Elevator: October 2019

In the 1950s, there were over 700 grain elevators in Manitoba. Today, there are fewer than 200. You can help to preserve the legacy of these disappearing “Prairie sentinels.” The Manitoba Historical Society (MHS) is gathering information about all elevators that ever stood in Manitoba, regardless of their present status. Collaborating with the Manitoba Co-operator it is supplying these

One of the first ‘Fowler’ steel-framed boxcars purchased by the CPR. By the early 1900s, more powerful locomotives could haul longer trains, putting more stress on wooden cars. The CPR designed the Fowler cars in 1908 and by 1914 had ordered some 34,000 cars of this design. The CNR also purchased more than 30,000. They began to leave service in large numbers in the 1950s with the last car leaving in 1980. The number 127340 car in the photo was built in 1912 by the American Car and Foundry Company in Detroit, Michigan.

When you needed a hammer and nails to load a car

Until the 1970s, all grain was shipped in boxcars which needed a wooden door

Copies of photos donated by the Dickson and Henderson families of Boissevain have proven a treasure trove for the Manitoba Agricultural Museum. This photo depicts a portable elevator filling a CPR wooden boxcar, probably sometime in the 1930s. The man in the photo cannot be identified — it’s believed he is not a member of


A diagram of the plank drag Seager Wheeler was using on his farm in 1919. This drag had evolved significantly from the first drag he used when homesteading in Saskatchewan in the 1890s. His first drag consisted of two poplar logs pegged together. The bottom of the logs were cut flat probably using an adze.

The plank drag was an effective field tool in its day

The goal was a smooth field that would allow easy operation of horse-drawn implements

In the recent Manitoba Agricultural Museum article on the practice of backsetting, which was sometimes carried out when breaking virgin sod, the use of a plank drag in subsequent field operations was mentioned. A plank drag was somewhat more complicated than merely dragging a plank across the field and so deserves some further explanation. Seager

Gordon Goldsborough has spent many months exploring abandoned sites on the Manitoba landscape including this interior of the ballon annex of a vacant grain elevator at Tyndall.

New tales told in ‘More Abandoned Manitoba’

Author Gordon Goldsborough is hitting the road with his newest release featuring 28 more fascinating stories about little-known places in rural Manitoba

Manitoba author Gordon Goldsborough is on the road again — this time to launch the sequel to his 2016 runaway bestseller Abandoned Manitoba. More Abandoned Manitoba: Rivers, Rails and Ruins released in October contains photos and stories of more than two dozen sites he’s visited in the past two years. Wherever he goes, there’s always

This photo of Brandon in 1912 reveals many details about the early economy of the Wheat City.

The Maple Leaf Flour Mill in Brandon

There were many early mills in Manitoba, but they didn’t last

One of the photos in the Manitoba Agricultural Museum’s photo collection is a 1912 view of Pacific Avenue in Brandon, looking to the east. It appears to have been taken off the roof of the International Harvester Corporation (IHC) warehouse which still stands at the northeast quadrant of the intersection of 18th Street and Pacific


This 1972 photo shows the Manitoba Pool and United Grain Growers elevators at Medora, in what was then known as the RM of Brenda. The 177,000-bushel Pool elevator and crib annex dated from 1928 and 1967, respectively. The 131,000-bushel UGG facility consisted of an elevator from 1932 that was modernized when a crib annex was built beside it in 1963. The UGG elevator and annex, filled to capacity with wheat, flax, and canola, were destroyed by fire in December 1980. A replacement elevator was constructed in the fall of 1981 and opened for business in January 1982. It was closed by Agricore in 2000 but remains in use for private grain storage. The Pool buildings were demolished in 2002.

PHOTOS: This Old Elevator: March 2018

The Manitoba Historical Society wants to gather information about all the grain elevators in Manitoba

In the 1950s, there were over 700 grain elevators in Manitoba. Today, there are fewer than 200. You can help to preserve the legacy of these disappearing “Prairie sentinels.” The Manitoba Historical Society (MHS) is gathering information about all elevators that ever stood in Manitoba, regardless of their present status. Collaborating with the Manitoba Co-operator it is supplying these

Editorial: Opening up

The non-farming public, especially in Western Canada, continues to be interested in agriculture and rural life. Evidence of that can be seen in a pair of features in this week’s issue of the Co-operator. In the Country Crossroads section, our Lorraine Stevenson writes about the Argyle fall supper, celebrating its 135th anniversary this year. Every fall,

Manitoba First Nations agricultural history isn’t well known.

Manitoba’s earliest agriculture

Canada 150: First Nations, fur traders and the Selkirk settlers all grew 
some of the earliest harvests in Manitoba

As part of our celebration of Canada 150, the Manitoba Agricultural Museum’s Alex Campbell has written a historical review of agriculture in Manitoba. The Manitoba Co-operator will be printing it as an ongoing serial over the next several weeks. While Canada dates from 1867, the history of agriculture in Manitoba stretches much further back into


A wooden grain elevator at the railway siding of Newstead, five miles east of Souris along Highway No. 2, was built in 1936 by the McCabe Grain Company. Bought by United Grain Growers in 1968, the elevator was renovated and an annex was moved beside it from nearby Carroll. The facility was closed in June 1982 and removed from the site.

PHOTOS: This Old Elevator: November 2016

The Manitoba Historical Society wants to gather information about all the grain elevators in Manitoba

In the 1950s, there were over 700 grain elevators in Manitoba. Today, there are fewer than 200. You can help to preserve the legacy of these disappearing “Prairie sentinels.” The Manitoba Historical Society (MHS) is gathering information about all elevators that ever stood in Manitoba, regardless of their present status. Collaborating with the Manitoba Co-operator

The former Manitoba Pool elevator in Homewood still shows the spot where the sign once hung.

Brandon University to save MPE archives

The treasure trove of historical documents are being ordered and catalogued


A huge collection documenting the entire history of Manitoba Pool Elevators is being put in order through a project at Brandon University’s (BU) S.J. McKee Archives. Work began this fall to organize textual records in the large volume of documents known by archivists as fonds, but there’s much more work to process a huge volume