Paradise Valley Grain Elevator

 

The Alberta Wheat Pool Grain Elevator in Paradise Valley was designated a Provincial Historic Resource in 2008. In order for a site to be designated a Provincial Historic Resource, it must possess province-wide significance for either its history or architecture. To properly assess the historic importance of a resource, a historian crafts a context document that situates a resource within its time and place and compares it to similar resources in other parts of the province. This allows staff to determine the importance of a resource to a particular theme, time, and place. Below is some of the historical information used in the evaluation of the Alberta Wheat Pool Grain Elevator. 

When members of the Barr Colony settled in what would become the Lloydminster district at the turn of the 20th century, they were soon served by the Canadian Northern Railway, which arrived in 1904.  With this, the farming district quickly expanded.  One of the areas to be flooded with homesteaders was located just southwest of Lake Bricker, in a district to be named Paradise Valley by a promoter with the California Land Company named Frank Henton.  The first settlers began to take up land in 1906, and in 1910 a store and post office was opened by Kenneth Gunn on SE30 TP46 R2 W4.  Schools and churches soon followed in the district, although the main commercial centers remained Kitscoty and Lloydminster, some 20 km to the north and northeast.  Like much of rural Alberta, the Paradise Valley district prospered during the World War I years but suffered a recession at war’s end, with the overproduction of grain causing international prices to fall.  Then, with the Locarno Pacts opening up markets in Europe, the demand for western Canadian grain began to rise.  When coupled with high yields, this brought prosperity to the district during the late 1920s.

It was no doubt the high yields and growing demand for grain that encouraged the Canadian Pacific Railway to extend a branch line from Marsden, Saskatchewan through to Paradise Valley in 1929.  The track was built through to LSD 13 of NW6 TP47 R2 W4, where the CPR subdivided a townsite and erected a small station.  The post office was brought in and a community called Paradise Valley quickly evolved, although it was never large and would not be incorporated as a village until 1964.  The district was prosperous however, and the farmers were happy not to have to haul their farm produce all the way to Kitscoty, for, almost immediately after the railway arrived, several grain elevators dotted the skyline.  These were owned by the United Grain Growers, Searle, the western Grain Company, and the Alberta Wheat Pool.  In time, these elevators were joined by structures owned by the McCabe Brothers and the Federal Grain Company. Read more