Grain Elevator

This documentary short is a visual portrait of “Prairie Sentinels,” the vertical grain elevators that once dotted the Canadian Prairies. Surveying an old diesel elevator’s day-to-day operations, this film is a simple, honest vignette on the distinctive wooden structures that would eventually become a symbol of the Prairie provinces.

Comments

  • jmatlin

    “@SheepIncident - What an incredible story. Thank you for sharing.” — jmatlin, 23 May 2013

  • sheepincident

    “The farmer who drives up and dumps his grain is my father George Marcenko. Saw this for the first time late last night, I knew it was filmed but never got the chance to see it until I bumped into this documentary. What a great surprise. As a kid I remember riding in the truck to the elevator and before we had a hoist on the truck I used to sit in the cab and be elevated by the Pool elevator's hoist and then wait until all of the grain was out of the box before the truck was lowered. It was a lot of fun. John's son, Murray, and myself used to get our hair cut by John at the elevator in his little office building where he used to do his paperwork. He'd get the clippers out and we'd sit in a chair in the middle of his office where you see him doing his paperwork. Since it was dangerous we were never really allowed to go down to the motor room below the office. I stuck my head through the door once, but that was about it. This is 32 years old now, but seeing it now brings back all the memories I had of growing up in this little community. Bravo!! Dennis Marcenko” — sheepincident, 30 Apr 2013

  • canadianmonster

    “they used box cars because the rail was to light for hoppercars. the fed government did upgrade the rail then cpr took out the new rail in a few years sold the rail and pocket the money” — canadianmonster, 30 Sep 2012

  • canadianmonster

    “i knew those people great film. ” — canadianmonster, 30 Sep 2012

  • dyphill

    “My father, Henry Schielke, opened the Alberta Wheat Pool elevator in Acadia Valley, AB in 1928. I'm glad to say that it is still standing and is now a museum. Henry took, a now, very famous picture from the top of the elevator showing a line of farmers with their wagons drawn by horses (mostly) waiting for the 'relief' train to come in to help them in the 1930s. The picture has been used in many books and now is attributed to the Glenbow Foundation. Henry finished his grain buying career in Olds. AB after 25+ years.” — dyphill, 2 Mar 2012

  • cyelland

    “Great Film! I built a model elevator for my ho scale layout just like that one, Ruston Hornsby diesel had air or crank start, Fairbanks and Crossley gas engines were commonly started with your hands and feet on the spokes.” — cyelland, 26 Feb 2012

  • crudeoil

    “Many memories. My Dad bought grain 1930 t0 1944 s/w of Rosetown at a place that isn't there anymore. He started the big engine by putting his foot on one of the spokes on the wheel and turning it by hand to start it. Now I see it has a starter in 1981. That's progress I guess. ” — crudeoil, 3 Jan 2012

  • Don

    “I was a Sask Pool agent in the 1960's and ran an elevator and engine just like this one. It sure brings back memories my neck itched when he got the dust on top of his head.” — Don, 27 Mar 2011

  • RGOFF

    “Nice documentary. I hauled many thousands of bushels to elevators like that one although by the 1980s they mostly used hopper cars, not boxcars.” — RGOFF, 1 Feb 2011

  • reid

    “I'm surprised they're putting the grain in boxcars, although I suppose there's no reason why it wouldn't work -- makes me wonder how they unload them. I know by the 1980s the CPR had special cars for grain, several purchased by the Alberta government -- we used to see them in Calgary all the time. ” — reid, 15 Jan 2011

  • saskboy

    “It's filmed in Wood Mountain, SK. It's the last standing elevator for 50km in any direction. It's not still in operation. There are many great photos of this elevator online and in publication. The Sask Encyclopedia has the elevator on the back cover, and google images has many examples of it too.” — saskboy, 14 Oct 2010

  • debrob

    “Any idea where in Saskatchewan this was filmed? Inglis, Manitoba has 5 elevators you can tour. They are beautiful.” — debrob, 19 Jul 2010

  • wfroese

    “Well done - brings back lots of memories from days at the elevator.” — wfroese, 10 Jul 2010

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Film Credits

director
Charles Konowal
cinematography
Charles Konowal
producer
Jerry Krepakevich
Michael Scott
sound
Donald List
editing
Norm Sawchyn
sound editing
Ken Rodeck
Donald List
re-recording
Clive Perry

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