Fire and the prairies go together. It seems every town on the plains has had some sort of encounter with a major fire in its history. This has gone on ever since the west was being settled and it continues to this day. We’ve talked about the Clarendon Hotel, the Spring Valley elevator, and Boyd’s hardware store in Orion. Today we get to add another item to this growing list, the former Paterson grain elevator at Prelate, Saskatchewan1.
My first visit to Prelate was in September of 2015 while on the way to the annual Threshing Bee at the Sukanen Ship and Pioneer Village Museum near Moose Jaw. Prelate was a fascinating town with its old fire station/town office and photogenic grain elevator.
In searching my photo library, it seems as if I didn’t take a photo of the elevator when Emily and I passed through Prelate in September of 2016. In looking at the video of the fire posted on the CBC website (see link below), it appears there were a couple of metal bins on one side of the elevator which were not present in 2015. Perhaps I felt the bins took away from the beauty of the classic wooden elevator so I didn’t bother taking another photo?
On a side note, Highway 32 in Saskatchewan from Leader to Swift Current is one of my favorite prairie highways. Many stereotypical prairie towns dot the roughly 150km stretch. I first took this route in 2015 and couldn’t wait to go back with Emily in 2016. Sadly, there will be one less prairie giant standing to show the way if we get back this year.
1 Grain elevator fire evacuates village of Prelate, Sask. (2017, January 31). Retrieved January 31, 2017, from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/grain-elevator-fire-prelate-saskatchewan-1.3959924