110 Year Old Grain Elevator Receives Provincial Heritage Property Designation
The Government of Saskatchewan has designated the Veregin Christian Community of Universal Brotherhood Grain Elevator as the province’s newest Provincial Heritage Property. The elevator is adjacent to the Canadian National Railway track in the former village of Veregin, located 50 kilometres north east of Yorkton, and is a part of the National Doukhobor Heritage Village.
“At last count there were 427 wooden elevators left standing in Saskatchewan,” Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Gene Makowsky said. “Once one of the most prominent architectural features on the Canadian prairies, these iconic structures still remain a visual symbol for the whole region.”
The Doukhobors emigrated to Saskatchewan from Russia seeking land and religious freedom. They established the Veregin settlement in 1904 and it soon emerged as the spiritual and commercial centre for Canada's Doukhobor population. This elevator was built in 1908 by the Doukhobor through their co-operative enterprise, the Christian Community of Universal Brotherhood, and was one of several businesses this organization owned and operated in Veregin and surrounding communities in the early 20th century.
Amongst the oldest known grain elevators in Saskatchewan, the Veregin Christian Community of Universal Brotherhood Grain Elevator represents an important phase in the evolution of grain handling facilities. First appearing in Saskatchewan in the 1880s, wooden crib grain elevators such as this were the standard method of construction for over 100 years. At one time there were more than 3,000 of this type of elevator across the province. Today, only a fraction of these buildings remain.
In addition to its representation of wooden elevator construction in Saskatchewan, the Veregin Christian Community of Universal Brotherhood Grain Elevator is also being recognized for its association with the co-operative movement in Saskatchewan. Farmer-owned co-operative organizations, such as the Christian Community of Universal Brotherhood and Saskatchewan Wheat Pool, which later owned this elevator, played a pivotal role in the handling of grain in the province during the early 20th century.
Provincial Heritage Property designations help protect important places in Saskatchewan’s history for the benefit of all citizens.
For more information about Saskatchewan’s Provincial Heritage properties, visit www.saskatchewan.ca/provincial-heritage-property.