Grain elevators since gone

Grain elevators were once landmarks of almost every farming community across the Prairies served by the railways.

An early view of the Gillespie Grain Company elevator in Donalda.

An early view of the Gillespie Grain Company elevator in Donalda.

Grain elevators were once landmarks of almost every farming community across the Prairies served by the railways. Although many have been preserved as museums or historic sites, most have vanished.

Four grain elevators once stood in Donalda along the Canadian Northern Railway line. The first was built in 1911 by Mr. Imeson who operated it only one year when he sold it to the Gillespie Grain Company. The agent for many years was Bert Russel. Eventually this became the United Grain Growers elevator with Peter Rasmussen one of its prominent operators.

The Home Grain Company Elevator was built in 1926 with J.R. Stolee the first agent. Around 1932 this elevator was taken over by the Searle Grain Company.

Donalda’s third elevator was a communal venture built in 1927, known as the Alberta Farmer’s Co-operative Elevator Company, later to become the Alberta Wheat Pool. A balloon-frame annex was built alongside the elevator in the early 1940s which was replaced by a second Alberta Wheat Pool elevator in 1966.

Donalda’s elevators came down at different times but were all gone by 1999. The railway also disappeared around this time and the tracks were taken up and sold. (Adapted from information in the history book Donalda’s Roots and Branches)

The congregation of Bethany Lutheran Church, north of Donalda, received a grant of $1000 from the Battle River Foundation for repair work to the building which celebrates its 100th anniversary this coming year. The original church built in 1914 was blown down in a violent windstorm, then rebuilt in 1915.

The Donalda Museum closes for the holiday season from Dec. 20 to Jan. 5, 2015. We wish everyone of our visitors a Merry Christmas and look forward to seeing new visitors in the New Year! Appointments can be made by calling the museum and leaving a message: 403-883-2100 or the village office at 403-883-2345.

Happy birthday greetings this week to: Darryl Walker, Laia Chesla, Lorna Dahl, Tyson Bauer, Bryson Murphy, Jack Dinsmore, Shianne Klatt, Bernie Justin Sikkema, James Sehlstrom, Kim Thorne, Samantha Volker, Sandra Dinsmore, Calen Murphy, Otto Sideritsch, Marion Hotner, Doris Banziger, Kelsey Jaksitz, Laura Dahl, Madison Swaren. To anyone we missed, happy birthday, too!