Alberta History

Skiff, Alberta

 

Previously, Skiff, Alberta had three grain elevators. Two of which wore Alberta Wheat Pool colours. Alberta Wheat Pool No. 1 was constructed in 1929 and in 1984 merged with Alberta Wheat Pool No. 2 which was built in 1954. Agricore purchased these two elevators in 1998 and demolished them in 2000.

Skiff’s surviving grain elevator was built in 1929 by the Ellison Milling and Elevator Company with a capacity of 123,000 bushels or 3360 tonnes. In August of 1975 Parrish & Heimbecker expanded their wheat and durum milling activity with the purchase of the Ellison Milling Company. With this addition, the company acquired 12 grain elevators in Southern Alberta. P&H operated their Skiff elevator until June of 2002. After closing to the public, the elevator was sold to a private farm and is still in use today.

Since first opening in 1918, Skiff’s general store has changed hands many times. During the hard times of 1935, Ray Eshom and family moved to Skiff with a vision of rejuvenating the downtrodden business. As times improved, so did their business. During their ownership, the General Store was expanded to include petroleum products, farm machinery, and automobiles. The old store was drafty and cold, so in 1940 the building was expanded and the exterior stuccoed. Skiff’s General Store changed ownership a few more times before closing in the 1990s.

Warwick Alberta Wheat Pool

 

In response to declining grain prices after the first world war forcing farmers to sell their crops at a loss, a co-operative was organized. Formed in 1923 with an initial 26,000 members, the Alberta Wheat Pool was the first farmer's co-operative on the Canadian Prairies. It wasn't until 1925 that the first three Wheat Pool elevators were built in the province.

The F.W. Mcdougall Construction Company who specialized in building coal tipples, seed cleaning plants, and grain elevators across Alberta and Saskatchewan constructed a 40,000 bushel elevator in Warwick in 1929. A 41,000 bushel balloon annex was added to this elevator in 1956.

Warwick's Alberta Wheat Pool elevator was built in 1929. The 32000 bushel grain elevator belonged to the Federal Grain Company until the Alberta Wheat Pool purchased the elevator and a 34,000 bushel crib annex on March 16, 1972. It remained in business until closing in November 1979. In 1980 the last acting Elevator Manager bought the elevator and moved it to his family's farm.