‘Just a passing of time’: Manitoba village sees 94-year-old grain elevator demolished

WINNIPEG — An iconic landmark more than 90-years-old in a small rural Manitoba village was razed to the ground this week.

For one of the 150 people still living in the community, it is a sign of the times and a memory of a bygone era.

On Tuesday, crews finished the demolition of the Arden grain elevator – a towering 50,000-bushel elevator built 94 years ago in 1926.

“It’s kind of bittersweet to see it go,” said Brad Meyers, a resident of Arden, Man., for around 20 years. “There is a lot of good memories with them, and we are losing that touch to the past.”

The elevator has seen many owners in its decades of service in the community, most recently being purchased by the Rolling Acres Hutterite Colony, according to the Manitoba Historical Society.

The elevator was demolished due to its poor condition. Meyers said recently the elevator was not being used that much.

“It is just a passing of time – things are getting bigger, which isn’t always better,” he said. “You see the bigger cement elevators going up and producers have to travel further to deliver their product and everything just keeps on progressing, and the little elevators just don’t have the capacity any more.”

The elevator used to be a hub in the agriculture-based village, but Meyers said he has seen more businesses close their doors over the years.

“Unfortunately there is not a grocery store anymore in town, there is not much left in town,” Meyers said.

His auction business is one of the last businesses still remaining in the village, which now has a population of about 150 people living in 75 to 80 households.

Meyers recorded the demolition of the elevator and posted the video to his Facebook page. He said since he posted the video, many people have sent messages saying how sad they are to see it go.

“In the rural areas, we all grew up with these elevators,” he said. “It’s sad to see them go – they are a part of our history and a part of our community.”

Meyers said it is unlikely anything will take the grain elevator’s place, and the land will now most likely be vacant.

Arden is located in the Rural Municipality of Glenella-Lansdowne, about 68 kilometres northeast of Brandon. The village boasts to be the Crocus Capital of Manitoba, due to the thousands of natural crocuses that bloom each spring.

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