The 94-year-old Mintlaw grain elevator near Blackfalds just might escape the wrecker’s ball for a second time.
The small-ish Searle Grain Co. elevator built in 1923 initially had a date with a demolition crew some 60 years ago.
That’s when a heritage-minded Central Alberta farmer saved the 15,000-bushel structure by moving it onto his farm, located seven km northeast of Blackfalds, from its original site south of Red Deer.
Now the aging elevator’s roof is sagging and the farm’s current owners would like to see it gone. Kim Bloomfield, the Blackfalds farm’s co-owner, told an agricultural publication last year she’s hoping the wooden structure can be moved or dismantled, “because we can use the space for something else.”
“The new owners don’t know what to do with the grain elevator,” admitted Red Deer-area resident Rob Gugin. But he’s rather attached to it, since he incorporated an image of the Mintlaw elevator on corporate logos for his new Lacombe-based Old Prairie Sentinel Distillery.
Gugin said a regional group was recently formed to try to save the elevator, since these ‘sentinels of the Prairies’ are becoming so scarce. “We don’t want to lose such a poignant piece of local history…”
The committee plans to discuss fundraising ideas for moving it to another property, added the entrepreneur, who’s heartened that Bloomfield is willing to listen to ideas for preserving it.
But the big question will be where can the sizable structure be relocated?