History of the Grain Elevators in Granum and Stavely – circa 1981-84
The town of Granum, south of Calgary at the junction of Highway 2 and Highway 519 is located on the edge of the prairies and the foothills of the Canadian Rockies. Granum was once the home of at least 8 elevators. I photographed the row of five in 1981. These little pairie towns were tied together by the railway and by their distinct giant grain elevators.
The town of Stavely is 68 miles south of Calgary on Highway 2. The Canadian Pacific railway ran through both Granum and Stavely. Here is a great shot from 1981 that I took before the elevators started to be destroyed.
When the tracks were removed the grain elevators started to disappear. One by one. There is only one elevator remaining in Stavely. It is owned by Husted Farms.
The Great Fire
In 1982 one of the Alberta Wheat Pool elevators in Granum caught on fire and burned to the ground.
Meanwhile in Stavely a new, bigger, more modern Wheat Pool elevator had been built in 1982. The smaller Alberta Wheat Pool was no longer used so it was loaded on to a trailer and moved to Granum in 1983 to replace the one that was destroyed by fire the year before.
The trip from Stavely to Granum is approximately 20 miles. The movers chose to take this elevator and annex on the road on the west side of Claresholm. The move was put on hold when the transmission went out of the truck. Eventually they maneuvered another tractor in to take over the rest of the move . It was successfully set down in Granum.
I spent a lot of time just north of Granum during the 80’s photographing horses from Hans Hansma’s herd of Registered American Quarter horses. Some of the finest horses in the countryI was at Hansmas on August 27th, 1984 the day Granum’s replacement elevator caught on fire reducing it to a pile of grain on the ground. This fire also destroyed the hotel and a grocery store. I shot a few photos from the road northeast of town of this fire. My friend Taco Hansma took all the photos you see here of the fire in 1982. His photos of the fire are much better than mine.