Tuesday, December 25, 2007

More Card Stock Elevators

This is the Clairmont National elevator, which was torn down in September of 2005.

Mayerthorpe's remaining Alberta Wheat Pool

Kinuso's remaining UGG Elevator

Finally, all three elevators, all done by Jim A Pearson © 2007 Jim A Pearson - Vanishing Sentinels

Friday, December 21, 2007

Elevators in Superman

Clark and Martha Kent at Jonathan Kent's funeral, screen captured from Warner Brothers movie "Superman" (1978)
(No copyright infringement is intended)
(Click on the photo for a closer look)

A lot of people have asked me where are those two elevators in the movie Superman (Warner Brothers, 1978) were located.

Well, here's the info. These shots seen above from the movie were shot at a little community called Beynon, which is on the CN rail line which runs east, then angles thru the valley back to the SW from Drumheller. Beynon had two elevators, the white was an UGG (United Grain Growers) while the teal colored one was an Alberta Wheat Pool. The UGG annex is now located to the north of the hamlet, and was moved in 1979, while the elevator itself was moved about a mile further north on the Labour Day weekend in 1980. (It took several four wheel drive tractors and a caterpillar two days to move it up the long hill to the top of the Valley.)

Every time I see this shot, I always have a twinge of sadness and a slight smile to see another part of Alberta history preserved in a great hollywood film about one of the greatest heros of all time... Superman.

We will always miss you Chris! You made us all believe that a man can really fly!!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Stettler Parrish and Heimbecker Elevator and Feed Mill

This elevator and feed mill is located in Stettler, Alberta, and is owned by the Parrish and Heimbecker society of Stettler.
This wasn't as hard to design as the Byers Flour Mill, but it did have some challenges.

East View

South View

West View

North View

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Makwa Saskatchewan

This is the elevator from Makwa, Saskatchewan, which was located SW of Meadow Lake. It was built in 1937, but the rail line was never completed from Meadow Lake to here.

This is my version of the elevator. It is one of the oddest I have ever seen in the Canadian Prairies.


Thursday, November 29, 2007

Byers Flour Mills

Once again I think I have outdone myself. These elevators took nearly 5 hours to draw, cut out and put together.

These two elevators were located in Camorse, Alberta, but were destroyed in the fall of 2006. I didn't even know until I found out from a friend this spring. Myself and a friend drove over there, and was not impressed to see those elevators were gone.

These elevators made the famous Sunny Boy Cereal, Sunshine Flour and Rosebud Pancake Flour.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Been working on paper elevators

Since June, I have been working on paper foldup grain elevators. These four are based on elevators located in Rowley, Alberta
(The Searle and Alberta Wheat Pool / UGG twin elevators), the P&H is based from the one from Sharples (although the white annex has been removed at the real one), and the white Alberta Wheat Pool is from Kirkpatrick, west of Drumheller. The real one has no annexes.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Vanishing Sentinels Book Coming VERY SOON!

Greetings all!

I should have my 302 page book "Vanishing Sentinels The Remaining Grain Elevators of Alberta and B.C. by the first week of December, and will be available to you for $45 ($60 with shipping and handling).

If you are interested in reserving a copy, please email me at ncc2920@telusplanet.net for more details, or go to the webpage at


Jim A Pearson
Vanishing Sentinels

Saturday, October 27, 2007

More elevators

After 5 years of criss-crossing Alberta looking for elevators, you'd think I would have found all of them by now.

Guess what? I find two more!

This elevator is located NE of Millarville east of Highway 22. It was privately built.

This one was alerted to me by my friend Johnnie Bachusky, who found this one about 2 weeks ago. It was originally a UGG Fertilizer Annex, and was located in Innisfail, and was moved to its present location, 13 miles east of Innisfail on Sec Rd. 590, 2 km south on Range Rd 26-2.

I also discovered that the Agricore United elevators at Manning and Hawk Hills are still standing... except Manning's has been abandoned, and Hawk Hills is now privately owned.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Agricore-United Sask Pool merge to form Viterra

So it looks like the last of the Farmer Co-operatives has vanished into the mists of history. It's a sad day in Canadian history.

From Reuters Canada:

Saskpool becomes Viterra in break with past
Thu Aug 30, 2007 3:49 PM EDT

By Roberta Rampton
BALGONIE, Saskatchewan (Reuters) - Saskatchewan Wheat Pool (SWP.TO: Quote) will now be known as Viterra, a name that means "life from the land" and better reflects the breadth of its business, Canada's largest grain handler said on Thursday.

The company unfurled its new name and logo 10 storeys above the Prairies on its modern Buffalo Plains concrete terminal east of the provincial capital Regina to a crowd of grain trade and Prairie political leaders.

The name change invoked nostalgia in the province, where "The Pool" was started in the 1920s as a co-operative by farmers who wanted better prices for their wheat and a share in patronage dividends. Chief Executive Mayo Schmidt admitted it will take time for the new name to catch on.

"I think it will take a while to make the change, and I think, in our hearts, we'll always see the legacy Pool," he said.

Saskpool went public more than a decade ago, and shed its farmer-controlled governance after a financial overhaul forced by a close call with insolvency.

Now New York fund Third Avenue Management LLC is Viterra's largest shareholder, with a 16 percent stake.

Earlier this year, Saskpool swallowed its larger competitor, Agricore United for C$1.8 billion ($1.7 billion), and the new name -- which some wags said sounded like the impotence drug Viagra -- is part of that transformation.

Agricore itself was a merger of three former farmer-owned grain handlers.

Kim McConnell of Adfarm, the Calgary, Alberta-based advertising agency that helped Saskpool choose the new name, admitted the Viagra connection had crossed his mind.

"Viagra would also be a good agriculture company name, wouldn't it?" he said in an interview.

"Certainly there's connotations that go one way or the other, but I think the more important thing is that Viterra stands for 'life from the land'," Schmidt said the company will trim its staff to around 4,000 people from 4,400 over the next 18 months. It has applied for a new ticker symbol to match the new name.

The new Viterra has a stock market value of C$2.15 billion and controls 58 percent of total grain handling capacity in Canada, with an expected market share of more than 40 percent.

The company's shares were down 2 Canadian cents at C$10.65 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Thursday.

Aside from its Prairie-wide grain network and export terminal space, Viterra also owns crop supply retail centers, livestock and feed operations, an oat miller and other ventures.

Schmidt said the company is acquiring some new crop supply centers, and sees expansion opportunities in the United States and offshore, and in the fertilizer and biofuel sectors.

"Today, in the environment we're in the financial markets, every company is potentially a target," Schmidt said. "We're going to look for growth and acquisition opportunities going into the future."

($1=$1.06 Canadian)

© Reuters 2007. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Original Logo For Elevator Project

I was digging through some of my older files, and found this logo, which was the original idea back in 2004 until I came up with the "Vanishing Sentinels" project. I had almost completely forgotten about this until I finally dug it up.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Pioneer Acres Log Day Two

I have met a lot of very interesting people here today, including:
- A couple from Whiskey Gap who left there in 1979, and let me know that the last elevator there closed in 1978 (I added a correction on the website)
- A gentleman who's grandfather was the first white man born in the Endiang area and is having a 100th anniversary for the founding of his family farm next year.
- A very nice man who helped me updated my information on the elevators in Manitoba and Saskatchewan... he's worked for several companies in all three prairie provinces.
- One fellow who was really interested in my presentation, and asked several questions on how an elevator operated... showing him the presentation helped explain a few things.
- Many people have come by picking up cards and asking questions, and I still have 1CD left (with 25 to pick up in Calgary on Monday)... but it has been steady... except for this break where I am doing up this addition to the blog.
- One lady bought an Alberta Wheat Pool (brown) elevator to send to her daughter in Prince Edward Island... nice reminder of home I think!
- Just got an update on the elevators at Eatonia and Glidden, Saskatchewan... Glidden was torn down ... bummer.
- Just talked to a girl from Acadia Valley... she said they'd be interested in getting a map!!
- Also talked to two women from Linden who gave me the location of the Linden elevator (A National) and knew two towns called Bouyant and Entice... which were east of Acme

All in all... a pretty good day

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Pioneer - Louis Dreyfus Elevator In Dawson Creek BC destoryed by fire

Pioneer grain terminal in Dawson Creek destroyed in huge fire

(BC News) Friday, 13 July 2007, 12:18 PST
by Karl Kopan

Peace River Block Daily News
DAWSON CREEK, B.C. (CP) - Black smoke filled Dawson Creek's sky after fire engulfed the Pioneer grain elevator, forcing the evacuation of some nearby residents.
It didn't take long for the smoke to get the attention of onlookers.
“I watched them (firefighters) yank that door open and a huge burst of flames came shooting out,” said 12-year-old Joseph Squires, who sat on his bicycle and watched as fire crews sprayed water on the terminal.
Firefighters cut holes to ventilate the building.
When the leg of the elevator fully caught fire loud explosions could be heard from the terminal's belly. Soon after a portion of the north side blew out and orange flames licked toward the sky. There were secondary explosions as the fire rapidly progressed.
Firefighters moved their trucks and hoses back once, then a second time, as the heat from the fire intensified.
RCMP and the fire department asked residents along the road above the grain elevator to evacuate their homes.
Selma Naslund, who lives immediately above the fire, had a painter working on her home when they saw what they believed to be smoke coming from the elevator's roof.
Naslund's daughter thought what they were seeing had to be grain dust.
“I said `no, it's never looked like that before,”' said Naslund.
“So we watched it and it kind of got worse and worse. Pretty soon we heard some sirens.”
Soon after the highway was closed to traffic as the terminal slowly burned its way down like a candle. Pieces of metal cladding that glowed red from the heat fell to the ground.
Fire Chief Shorty Smith said while the cost of damage and the cause of the fire was difficult to predict this early in the investigation, he said large structure fires pose a particular challenge to fight.
“A building this size, when it is fully involved like it was, we have to do what is called a defensive fire, in other words protect the structures around it that aren't damaged,” Smith said.
“They knew that the portion of the building that was on fire was pretty much a writeoff so they protected those silos to keep any more damage from happening there.
“The biggest problem with something like this is you've got this structure that's very high in the air and it's putting off sparks and everything else. As a result we had some small grass fires east of here.”
He said there were some pallet fires at a concrete company and a small fire at the Co-op.
The Pioneer elevator was built in 1978 and had a wooden frame covered in metal cladding.
Workers were clearing out grain to make room for this year's crop when the fire occurred.
(Peace River Block Daily News)
16:19ET 13-07-07

No Copyright Infringement Is Intended
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Vanishing Sentinels Updates

Friday, June 01, 2007

Vanishing Sentinels Book CD Available NOW!!!!

Greetings! Just wanted to let everybody know that the Vanishing Sentinels- The Remaining Grain Elevators Of Alberta and British Columbia is complete and is now available to you for only $35 + shipping and handling.

This 320 page contains all of the known elevators of Alberta, including 13 sets of maps covering a one section each of Alberta and NE B.C.; when the elevators in each town of Alberta opened, closed and which companies owned them during their history; and photos of the remaining wooden, steel and concrete elevators that remain out of the greatest total in 1933 of 1,759 wooden elevators.

This book on c.d. is Apple and Windows friendly, and requires Adobe Acrobat reader to read the files.

I feel this book would be an excellent addition to a historian, elevator enthusiast, school library, or anyone who remembers the grain elevators, which were known as the Sentinels of the Prairies... which have been disappearing at an alarming rate.

You can find more information on the book on c.d. at:
http://web.mac.com/difdbs/iWeb/Vanishing%20Sentinels/Home.html and click on the link at the top of the page
"Book on CD NOW Available!!!"


Jim A Pearson
Vanishing Sentinels

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Vanishing Sentinels Book on CD

Well... I think I am in the final stretch. I have completed the CD version of the book, and am now working on spiltting that file into two sections, one each for Southern and Northern Alberta / BC elevators. It's proving to be a lot of work, but I think it would help me to at least get the books published... since they would be smaller in size than the total 320 pages.

I will let everyone know on my list on the website and this blog when it is ready to go!



Sunday, May 13, 2007

Agricore United -Sask Pool Deal?

Every once in a while, I get updates from Google on news about Agricore United and it's possible takeover by Saskatchewan Wheat Pool or by JRI (James Richardson International) Pioneer.

Well... it seems it may be over. Sask Pool looks like they won... the question is will this deal go thru, and what will the changes to the Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba grain producers be?

I have a terrible feeling that by the time my CD on my Vanishing Sentinels project is out, the book will have to have major changes to it.


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Found yet another elevator

On a tip I got from Johnnie Bachusky, I went out yesterday to confirm an elevator east of Blackfalds on Twonship Road 40-0, about 7 km east of Highway 2A. It had the name "Highview Farms" on it, and after making a few phone calls, I found out that this elevator came from Mintlaw... a now vanishing community SW of Red Deer, which used to be on the Alberta Central Railway, which ran from Red Deer to Rocky Mountain House. This elevator was a Searle, and was moved in the late 1950's. The elevator's annex was possibly from the Searle elevator (possibly a former Saskatchewan Grain Co. Ltd. elevator) from Prentiss, which is NW of Joffre.

This would make the grand total of Searle elevators remaining in Alberta up to at least 6. I will have more updates on this elevator as soon as I can find out more.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

2000 Hits!!!

Just wanted to thank everyone who checks out my main website at http://web.mac.com/difdbs/iWeb/Vanishing%20Sentinels/Home.html. Today, it passed the 2000 hits!!!

Very glad to see that there are people interested in this project! Thanks you all for your interest!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Was just looking at blog...

I was just looking at the blog, and was amazed to see that back on Febrauary 14th, I only had 1099 hits. As of today... I am presently at 1952... nealy 900 hits in 3 months. WOW!

I am also in the final stages of getting the book ready to be printed on CD. I decided to do it this way, since the price of publishing is too high for me at the moment, so I think putting it out on CD is a good start.

I will let everyone know here and on the website when the CD will be available for purchase.


Jim A Pearson
Vanihsing Sentinels

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

1099 Hits On The Website

I just wanted to say that I now have 1,099 hits on my main site of Vanishing Sentinels. I had no idea that I would have that many in the 4 and an half months since I got this webpage setup!

Thanks to everyone who has visited the site, and I hope more arrive to see it!

Thank you!

Jim A Pearson
Vanishing Sentinels

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Quick note in an article in Westworld

I just found out that an article in the Alberta Motos Association's magzine "Westworld" had a quick mention of the Vanishing Sentinels project in their February 2007 issue.

I had submitted a photo of a grain elevator for a contest they were holding, and gave them the address of this blog. A fellow from Edmonton, Alberta mentioned it to me, and I got the article yesterday. To put it mildy, I was very surprised and happy to see it!

It's nice to see that there is a rising interest in grain elevators across Alberta.

For more information on the project, please check out my webpage at:

I am going to be adding some additions to it soon, primarily drawings of how an early elevator operated.

I am also going to be doing a speech up in Edmonton on March 20th. Details to follow as I get them!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

All Quiet on the Western Front

I haven't been adding anything new on this site since I got the main website up, but I have started on a database for the Saskatchewan elevators. Using info from the net and wikipedia, I have disocvered quite a bit of info on the elevators in Sask., and have discovered this make take longer than I thought.

I am planning on going up to Saskatoon sometime in May to start going thru the archives to see what information I can find.

Also, I will be doing a speech in Edmonton on March 20 for the Scandanavian club on my project. From the sounds of it... it should have a fair sized crowd, so I have been doing some updates to my Keynote speech... I switched to Keynote from Powerpoint because it runs better on my laptop.

Further updates as I get them!