Alberta community loses piece of history in fire

EDMONTON – A fire has destroyed part of a historic structure in a northwestern Alberta community.

One of three old Alberta Wheat Pool grain elevators in the town of Sexsmith was destroyed by a blaze Tuesday evening.

No one was hurt. Residents said the building wasn’t in use.


Global News

Fire crews managed to keep the fire from spreading to a neighbouring elevator and near the Northern Alberta Railway Station, which is listed in the Alberta Register of Historic Places.

Grain elevators played a large role in the development of western Canada, where they were built along rail tracks in nearly every farming community in the prairies.

According to Sexsmith’s website, its grain elevators were so productive by 1949 that the Town was labelled “Grain Capital of the British Empire”, exporting more grain than any other port in the Empire. By the mid-1950s, Sexsmith had nine elevators.

Photo taken in 1950 of seven grain elevators in the town of Sexsmith, Alberta.

Photo taken in 1950 of seven grain elevators in the town of Sexsmith, Alberta.

South Peace Regional Archives, Archive Society of Alberta

But as technology changed, many of the iconic green towers were torn down. However some, including the three in Sexsmith, were preserved as historical structures.

There was no immediate word on the cause of the fire.

 

 

© Shaw Media, 2015

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