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Tuesday, 4 August 2020

Farewell to La Salle's Grain Elevator


The grain elevator at La Salle, Manitoba will soon be no more. There has been an elevator in the community since ca. 1900. Demolition on this one, built in 1938, began over the weekend.

I wrote about the La Salle elevator in my Winnipeg Real Estate News column back in 2018. Here's that write-up:

Paterson Grain Elevator, 42 rue Degagne
 

The life blood of any rural community was its elevator and for a brief time La Salle had three of them.  

The first elevator was constructed circa 1900 by Moise Cormier, a local grain merchant who, according to his obituary, was the area’s largest landowner with 6,000 acres to his credit. Like many of La Salle’s early settlers he came from Quebec, arriving in 1893 with his wife and seven sons.   

Within just a few years, Cormier’s elevator was joined along the tracks by Ogilvie Flour Mills and the Imperial Elevator Company.  

Imperial’s elevator burned down in 1907. Though the manager was inside his office at the time, he escaped unhurt and the fire was prevented from spreading to other structures. The company decided not to rebuild. Ogilvy dismantled their elevator in 1911 so that it could be moved to another community.  

After Cormier’s death in 1915, the family sold what was once again the only elevator in La Salle to the N. M. Paterson Grain Company.  

In 1938, Paterson built the current elevator. It has been expanded over the decades, including a renovation to the office area and the addition of steel storage bins in the 1980s. According to the Canadian Grains Commission the La Salle elevator has a capacity of 4,005 metric tons.

Eighty years later, the elevator is still owned by Paterson and served by C. P. Rail.

For more images of La Salle, see my Flickr album.

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