By Carson Ellis
In July of 1955, Mayor Stanley Petherbridge (the P in J&P Food Stores for those of you playing the home game) officially opened the new 83,500 bushel-capacity Alberta Wheat Pool elevator along the Canadian National railway tracks.
At the time of the opening, it was the largest in Central Alberta.
Construction materials included 1,000 bags of cement for the foundation, 113 kg of nails and thousands of feet of lumber.
When it opened, it was powered by a 20HP electric motor which gave it a handling capacity of up to 5,000 bushels an hour.
The elevator’s first load of wheat weighed in at 63lbs. to the bushel and was graded #3. The load of Saunders wheat was brought in by Mr. Charles Bauer, who was not only one of the original members of the local AWP but was also the oldest.
Bauer had come to the district in 1904 from Perth County, Ontario.
District Supervisor Mr. O. McCurdy weighed the load. He also acted as M.C. of the opening ceremonies.
Jack Crawford also spoke at the event. He explained that the new elevator could store and handle three times as much as the operating AWP elevator which sat on the Canadian Pacific tracks on the north side of town.
He also noted that the CP elevator would continue operations.
The efforts taken to acquire the new construction were touched upon by Mr. Blair.
He gave credit for the undertaking to district director Mr. H. Judd who was unable to attend the opening. In his presentation, Blair explained it was the 523rd unit to be put into Alberta service by the Pool.
Other speakers included Messers. Wishart (district superintendent) Henry Kroeger (Stettler Board of Trade president), and T.M. Robinson (Stettler County reeve).
Both the CN elevator and the CP elevator would be operated by Mr. E.T. Adams who was the local agent at the time.