Vanishing Sentinels

For information on ghost towns I rely on several sources. One of my more recent supplies of knowledge comes from Jim A. Pearson’s Vanishing Sentinels series. It was only last summer that I discovered his comprehensive books on the grain elevators of Saskatchewan. For Christmas, I received volumes 2 and 3 of his work; the elevators of Western and Eastern Saskatchewan. He had also documented the elevators of B.C., Alberta, and most recently Manitoba.

Sadly, Pearson passed away in late December from leukemia. I never met Jim, but appreciated his commitment and effort to such an immense undertaking. Jim Pearson was one of the first vatorologists or elevator enthusiasts and this passion is prominent in his books. They provide detailed diagrams of elevators, railroad and elevator maps, pictures of elevators, and list every grain elevator erected in a town and its history. Jim made valuable contributions to preserving our heritage and history. To learn more about his work and books click here.


In tribute to Pearson I am posting some of the elevators I have visited over the years. All information comes from his Vanishing Sentinels books:

Baring – Maple Leaf Milling Co. Elevator built in 1909. Bought by the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool in 1928 and closed in 1965.
Bladworth – Saskatchewan Co-operative Elevator Co. Ltd. constructed in 1917. Sold to the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool Elevator in 1926 and closed in 1994. It is now privately-owned.
Bromhead – Saskatchewan Wheat Pool Elevator built in 1927 and closed in 1999. It is now privately-owned.
Neelby – British America Elevator Co. Ltd. built in 1923. Bought by the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool in 1929. Closed and abandoned in 1965.
Neelby – Maple Leaf Milling Co. Ltd built 1914. Later bought by the Federal Grain Co. Ltd in 1929 and the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool in 1952. It closed in 1965 and was left abandoned.
Neidpath – Pioneer elevator built in 1924 and closed around 1981 or 1982. (left) Pioneer elevator constructed in 1924. Sold to the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool in 1926 and closed in 1982. (right)
Ratcliffe – Saskatchewan Wheat Pool Elevator build in 1927. Briefly owned by the Federal Grain Ltd from 1969 to 1972. Closed by the Pool in 1983.

2 thoughts on “Vanishing Sentinels

  1. Beautiful photos of elevators, they are also common in Kansas’ landscape.
    Nice tribute to the author. How many have you discovered that he has mentioned in his books! Another goal for you in 2019!

    1. I have only photographed about a dozen elevators. I tend to visit ghost towns whose elevators were moved or demolished years ago. Perhaps I should focus on elevator photography.

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