Clearwater Grain Elevator

The CPR Water Tower and Grain Elevator at Clearwater, MB
The CPR Water Tower and Grain Elevator at Clearwater, MB

The town of Clearwater, Manitoba features a grain elevator and a well-preserved railway water tower. The Clearwater grain elevator is an ex Manitoba Pool elevator.

Back when railways ran steam engines, they built water towers at regular intervals along the line to top up the water in the locomotives. When diesels took over from steam engines in the 1950s, the water towers were no longer needed and most were torn down.

In some cases, the water towers were supplying water to the town as well as to the railway. This was the case in Clearwater, and in fact the tower still supplies water to the town. This particular tower was built in 1910 to the Canadian Pacific Railway “Standard No. 1 Plan” and can contain almost 182,000L (40,000 gallons) of water. The ball on top of the tower indicates how full the tank is.

The town used to be on the CP Napinka subdivision.

The grain elevator in Clearwater, MB
The grain elevator in Clearwater, MB

There is a lovely photo by Andrew Sutherland of Clearwater’s water tank as well as its Pool and Federal grain elevators in Greg McDonnell’s book Wheat Kings: Vanishing Landmarks of the Canadian Prairies.

Other Manitoba Pool grain elevators

Fredensthal West Grain Elevator

The Fredensthal West grain elevator, May 18, 2014.
The Fredensthal West grain elevator, May 18, 2014.

I visited the Fredensthal West grain elevator, which is just northeast of the town of Emerson. It stands essentially alone, outside the town, and does not have a siding any more on the CP Emerson subdivision.

It was an Agricore elevator, which presumably went to Viterra but it is not listed on their list of Manitoba elevators. The elevator and annex have a combined capacity of 4,720 tonnes.

The Fredensthal West grain elevator.

The first grain elevator in Fredensthal was built by the Lake of the Woods in 1902. Its first agent was Bill Langenase.

Other Manitoba Pool grain elevators

Oakville Grain Elevator

The Oakville grain elevator, June 23, 2009.
The Oakville grain elevator, June 23, 2009.

The very first Manitoba grain elevator that I photographed was the Oakville grain elevator, on the CN Rivers subdivision, the main line through Manitoba. I went there to photograph a train and I thought the elevator would provide a nice backdrop.

I think it did.

CN 2603 in Oakville, Manitoba.
CN 2603 in Oakville, Manitoba.

There were at least three elevators in Oakville at one point:

  1. The Pool (A?) elevator shown above, built in the summer of 1974 to replace a previous elevator that burned in December 1973;
  2. A Pool B elevator, moved in the 1970s to a farm east of the town; and
  3. A United Grain Growers (UGG) elevator, present in the early 1980s but not now.
The Oakville grain elevator
The Oakville grain elevator

The former Pool “B” elevator is located on a farm just east of town.

The Oakville Pool "B" grain elevator
The Oakville Pool “B” grain elevator

This elevator appears to have been an Ogilvie Mills elevator prior to joining the Manitoba Pool.

The former Pool "B" / Ogilvie Mills elevator outside Oakville
The former Pool “B” / Ogilvie Mills elevator outside Oakville

Other Ogilvie grain elevators

Welcome

Cypress River Grain Elevators 20140510 SLB-21
The Cypress River grain elevators.

Welcome to the Manitoba Grain Elevators web site. This site is dedicated to those prairie sentinels, the grain elevator, once found in almost every prairie town. They are disappearing from the landscape and this site was created to pay homage to them and document the remaining elevators in Manitoba, Canada.

My project for 2014 is to photograph as many extant grain elevators in Manitoba as I can.

The grain elevator in Clearwater, MB
The grain elevator in Clearwater, MB