© Nathan Liewicki
Sukanen Ship Pioneer Village and Museum President George Ross spoke at the Mawer District grain elevator dedication ceremony on Saturday afternoon. Times-Herald photo by Nathan Liewicki
Museum keen on preserving province's agricultural history
At 3:40 p.m., on Aug. 29, 2007, the Mawer District grain elevator arrived at the Sukanen Ship Pioneer Village and Museum.
At 1:34 p.m., on Sept. 7, 2013, it officially celebrated its 100th birthday.
Dignitaries from both the federal and provincial levels of government joined hundreds of interested spectators for the centennial dedication of said grain elevator.
The 30,000-bushel facility traveled approximately 150 km from the former village of Mawer to its current standing on site at the museum.
“This elevator was indeed a place to get grain prices, find out about the weather forecasts, drink some coffee, exchange some gossip and tell some jokes," said MP Ray Boughen.
Gord Ross is the museum’s president. He noted that to have a grain elevator on site is an important thing for the next generation to see.
"It's actually good for the young people to see how Saskatchewan tried to make a living and how equipment changed over the years - just to see how our forefathers settled (here) and how tough they had it,” said Ross.
The process of acquiring a grain elevator to join the other historical treasures at the museum actually began in 2002.
“The Board of Directors at the time at the museum felt that we should have an elevator in our village, and so they started looking for an elevator to purchase and bring on site,” Ross noted.
They had an elevator that was to be brought to the village, but inspectors deemed it structurally unsafe.
It was a bit of a blow, but they kept looking for a grain elevator.
Then one day, Ross said, some good news arrived.
“The people that donated the present elevator from what used to be the village of Mawer contacted (us) and consequently donated the elevator to the museum.”
It was a long process to acquire a grain elevator for the village, but Ross believes it’s important that they have one.
“These elevators are vanishing from the landscape of Saskatchewan and they have always been such an icon for Saskatchewan,” noted Ross. “It’s conserved history.”
Provincial Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart echoed Ross’ words.
“I’m very proud that this part of our heritage has been preserved and found a permanent home here at the museum.
“Today grain elevators symbolize how far we have come over the past hundred years in developing a sustainable, prosperous agriculture industry,” said Stewart.
Here’s to another 100 years of agricultural booms in Saskatchewan.
Nathan Liewicki can be reached at 306-691-1256 or follow him on Twitter @liewicks