Spruce Grove's grain elevator designated provincial historic resource

Receiving the historical designation ensures the grain elevator will be around to provide the same experience for future generations.

The Spruce Grove Grain Elevator was named a provincial historical resource this past week. Josh Thomas

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The grain elevator which helped shape the city of Spruce Grove has been named a provincial historical resource.

Built in 1958 the Alberta Wheat Pool grain elevator served as a cornerstone for growth in the community until it was decommissioned and set for demolition in 1995. The Spruce Grove and District Agricultural Heritage Society stepped up and bought the facility for $1 to prevent the demolition and have since turned the site into a fully functioning museum. It is the last remaining grain elevator of it’s kind on the CN Rail line west of Edmonton.

Residents gathered at the doors of the historic grain elevator Oct. 7 to hear Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women Minister Leela Sharon Aheer officially designate the site a provincial historical resource.

“Alberta is such a beautiful and diverse province. It is amazing how much these buildings mean to so many people,” Aheer said. “I’m very grateful to be able to present this to the Spruce Grove and District Agricultural Heritage Society.”

The agricultural heritage society has worked tirelessly since the elevator was decommissioned to ensure it remains a major contributor to the community. Events such as the Farm and Heritage Carnival or the Harvest Fair have become staples and it is not uncommon for residents to gather for an outdoor concert or the ever popular Flapjack’s at the Track’s pancake breakfast.

Receiving the historical designation ensures the grain elevator will be around to provide the same experience for future generations.

“Grain elevators are a familiar site across the prairies. For many, they’re a welcome sign that you’re almost home. There used to be grain elevators in every community in our wonderful province. Now, altogether there are only approximately one hundred left,” said Spruce Grove-Stony Plain MLA Searle Turton. “This one in particular has a deep connection to Spruce Grove. Being here today as it’s designated a historical resource is a great honour … I’m so glad this building has found new use which continues its original purpose in building a strong foundation for our incredible community.”

As part of the designation residents can expect a few upgrades around the site as well. Owners of designated historic resources are eligible for government heritage grants to undertake conservation work. To be eligible for application a historic place must be associated with an important part of Alberta’s past and retain notable physical features.

Though no official announcement has been made the ag society is telling residents to keep an eye on the museum. “Look out for big changes at the grain elevator site this year. There may be some building going on!” their website reads.

“The Spruce Grove and District Agriculture Heritage Society is about preserving the history of this region and our strong roots in farming. We all have a role to play to preserve the history of the community,” said Moira Juleff, treasurer for the Spruce Grove and District Agriculture Heritage Society.

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