So by now you know that my fall and winter project has two main subjects. One is trains. They've been around for a hundred and fifty years in Canada's West. Shortly after they appeared, and as soon as the farmers arrived and got seed in the soil, they needed a place to store that grain. Google 'Niverville' sometime if you like.
Jason Paul Sailer knows a thing or two about Western Canadian architecture. He was curious about this blog, as I still am. What will it become?
Well, look no farther than the peaceful hamlet of Meadows, Manitoba. Ever-more peaceful now that the elevator there has been demolished. Kevin Siemens covered it in The Trackside Photographer. Meadows' was flattened in July, 2017.
Waaaaaay back in 1984, I happened across Meadows (top photo). At that time, I was circling Portage la Prairie looking for elevators to photograph. It was apparent the end was in sight for the Western Canadian grain handling system as we knew it.
Now other folks are doing the circling. Here are some of the challenges they face:
- Wooden elevators have gone the way of Meadows'
- Wooden elevators that survive are no longer rail-served
- Wooden elevators that survive are privately-owned, not Pool-owned
- The Pools became legally ashamed of their wooden elevators and couldn't get their logos painted out fast enough to avert potential liability.
I am of an age that remembers wooden elevators proudly in service. And the trains that served them. Hence, trains and grains. It's just a matter of preserving the past. And how.
Look up, look way up.