Wednesday, February 08, 2006
The Alberta Wheat Pool
During 1920-1922, plummeting grain prices in forced farmers to sell their grain at prices less than the cost of production. It was hoped that a co-operative marketing system would stabilize grain prices, so the Alberta Wheat Pool was born , and began operations on October 29, 1923. It was the first farmer's co-operative in the prairies.
By 1928, the company had 308 elevators in Alberta, and 40,000 members. By 1965, 538 elevators dotted the province, before AWP bought out Federal Grain in 1972.
There are only 12 brown Alberta Wheat Pool elevators left in Alberta. 7 are Privately Owned, and 5 are associated with museums.
Big Valley, Alberta
Big Valley is located just off of Highway 56 between Drumheller and Stettler on Secondary 590. This elevator was originally an UGG (built in 1920) and was closed in 1998. It is now a museum.
Butze is located east of Chauvin near highway 17 and Secondary 610. It was built in the 1920's, and closed in the 1970's. It is now privately owned.
Dawson Creek, B.C.
Dawson Creek had 8 elevators in the 1950's, and the Alberta Pool elevator is the only wooden one left. It is now an art museum.
Esther is located 10 miles east of New Brigden on Township Road 31-4, about 22 miles north of Oyen. This is the last of the original Alberta Wheat Pools in Alberta. It is now being saved as a museum.
Kingman was located on the old Grand Truck Pacific (later CN) rail line north of Camrose. The elevator is now located near Range Road 20-0 and Township Road 48-2 on a private farm.
Meeting Creek, Alberta
Meeting Creek is located north of Stettler west of highway 56 in the Meeting Creek Valley on the abandoned CN line. It was originally an Alberta Farmers Co-operative elevator, built in 1915, and was sold to Alberta Wheat Pool in 1927, but was torn down and rebuilt in 1935. The elevator was closed in 1995, and was repainted as "Vertical Payne"
Meniak is an abandoned hamlet north of Ponoka on the CP main line. The elevator was moved to it's present location on the Meniak Road about 2 miles west of Highway 2A in March, 1978.
This elevator was located in Morningside, which is 8 miles north of Lacombe on Highway 2A. It used to be owned by the Morningside Seed Co-op. Sadly, this elevator was torn down in April, 2005.
Paradise Valley, Alberta
This Alberta Pool elevator is located south-west of Lloydminister, Saskatchewan/Alberta, just east of secondary 897. It used to be on the CP line, and closed in 1989. The elevator was saved, and the annex (which came from the second Alberta Wheat Pool built in Alberta, located in a long vanished hamlet called Naco, located 32 km north of Cereal) was rebuilt into the "Climbing through Time Museum". It's a great museum to check out!
Rowley was on the Alberta Midland Railroad (later CN) which is located north-west of Morrin. It was originally built as an UGG in 1920, and became a Alberta Wheat Pool in 1927. It closed in 1994, and is being saved as a museum.
Scandia is located south-west of Brooks off of Highway 36. The elevator was on a CP spur line which ran south of the main line through Rainier to here. It was built in 1927, and closed in 1972. The elevator is now part of the Scandia Eastern Irrigation District Museum.
Warwick is located north of Vegreville, just east of secondary 857. The elevator is located on a private farm 1/2 mile east of the town, and was one of two elevators.