Grain Elevators - need tear down dates
Gray had five grain elevators before 1930. Company names changed over the years, but the service remained until the rail-line was discontinued in 1995.
- When pioneers were farming in the Bratt's Lake district (then known as Buck Lake) the first elevator was built in Regina in 1891. The building was more of a warehouse, all the grain was handled in bags. 100 bushels were hauled at a time, more than 20 miles one way.
- In the early 1900's the cost of a 'standard' 25,000 bushel elevator was $6200. The 60,000 bushel size would have been about $11,000.
- Original layouts would have included; loading platform (timbered structure with earthen ramps), flat storage warehouse, elevator, engine shed and office (3.6m X 6m) located 20' from the elevator.
- Wood crib construction - this means 2" X 8", and then 2" X 6" lumber would be stacked on top of each other to form the walls. Further up size would decrease to 2" X 4". The whole structure would then have wood siding applied.
- The Bunn Munro Company was formed with Charles and George Munro (majority owners) joining John R. Bunn (a homesteader from the Milestone area who also had relatives near Riceton). They had elevators in Diana, Gray, Lewvan, Riceton and Wilcox. In 1922 Charles Munro died of a brain tumor and after a small bequest to a sister had left his remaining estate to the Salvation Army. In order to settle the estate the assets had to be liquidated and that determined the end of Bunn Munro Company.
- When the Reliance elevator burnt to the ground in 1923 it was almost full of grain at the time and was quite a mess to clean up. The elevator was rebuilt the next year.
- In the 1930's there were 6000 elevators in Saskatchewan - this was peak. In 1950 this had decreased to 3,035 and by 1970 only 2,750 remained.
- By 1960 average capacity had doubled to 60,000 bushels. Then, by 1990, doubled again to 168,000 bushels.