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Elevators in Kenaston

Photo by Gene Pavelich

The Canadian Consolidated Elevator Company built the first elevator, followed by Central Grain in 1911, and State Elevator in 1912. The Saskatchewan Co-operative Elevator Company began in 1916 as several farmers affiliated themselves with the Saskatchewan Grain Growers Association.? In addition to grain sales; coal and wood were also sold. In January 1920, the organization offered shares and formed the Kenaston Grain Growers Association with Carl Anshelm as the first manager.

The Co-op elevator handled grain, hardware, lumber, and machinery and in 1928 included petroleum. The Co-op and Imperial Oil bulk fuel facilities were also located beside the tracks as fuel was delivered by rail.

A quick tour along elevator row would reveal that the first elevator company in Kenaston remained, still operating under the name of Canadian Consolidated with Guy Harris holding the position of agent since 1921. The State Elevator remained open and a Mutual Elevator was built in 1924.

The Central Grain Company had been managed by Hillmer Mills since it opened was consolidated into the Western Grain Company in 1927. The Saskatchewan Cooperative Elevator Company was managed by Robert Lindsay until it was transferred to the Wheat Pool in 1926 to become Pool A with Billy Taylor as agent

In 1940 Guy Harris was still managing the Canadian Consolidated Elevator. The Western Grain Company remained under the management of Hillmer Mills.? Federal Grain had opened in 1932, having purchased the State Elevator and was managed by Howard Yager.? Reval Rublee continued as the agent at the Pool Elevator.

Wheat was king and the elevators on the west side of the tracks were doing a good business in this era. The Canadian Consolidated was sold to the United Grain Growers in 1949 and Guy Harris had retired after 28 years of service. The Western Grain Company had remained until bought out by Federal Grain in the late 1940’s with Howard Yager continuing to manage the plant. In 1950 Reval Rublee was the long standing manager the Wheat Pool.

Entering Kenaston in 1960 would reveal elevators in the skyline but a closer examination would reveal many changes. The Canadian Consolidated elevator was sold to the United Grain Growers in 1959 with Hector Walker remaining as the manager.
Federal Grain had bought out Western Grain Company and was operating both plants with Howard Yager remaining manager.

In 1960 the Wheat Pool built a new steel elevator; this was Western Canada’s first all steel grain elevator at 111 feet with a 60,000 bushel capacity. This was one of three steel elevators built in Saskatchewan.

Photo by Susan Sagen

Down on Elevator Road, the Imperial Oil Esso bulk plant had been relocated alongside Highway 15 where Ivan Pavelich operated the business. In 1970, the steel elevator was the only Wheat Pool facility. The Federal Grain Company had built a new elevator next to the Pool in 1965, and the old Mutual Elevator was demolished in 1968.

The Wheat Pool bought both Federal Grain elevators in 1972; the State Elevator of 1912 became Pool B and the 1965 Federal construction became Pool C. The United Grain Growers constructed and opened a new elevator in 1973, which towered over the other elevators, as it had an 82 foot crib wall and was 118 feet overall in height.

Further down Elevator Road the United Grain Grower elevator closed as a full service elevator in 1996. At that time it was converted to a specialty elevator, handling mustard as a subsidiary of the Davidson Inland terminal. The Saskatchewan Wheat Pool elevators closed in 2000, as part of a “consolidation” plan.

The elevators, our prairie sentinels grace the skyline and our commerce reflects a modernized business centre.

All of the elevators were sold in 2002. ?The Wheat Pool “A” elevator was sold to Rupcich Farms and is primarily used for off-farm grain storage.?
Remmen Farms purchased the Wheat Pool C Elevator for grain storage; they also operate a seasonal grain cleaning service.

The UGG finally closed the speciality seed storage in 2001 and tendered the facility for sale. It was purchased by Arlo and Dee Guy of Guy Farms.