Tim Lockhart has made it his passion to photograph as many prairie grain elevators as he can find.
Lockhart was born and raised in Alberta and his dad was a manager at an Old Dutch potato chip plant. When he travelled with his father he gained a passion for grain elevators as each small town they pulled into had one.
About two and half years ago, he saw how many were rapidly being torn down. What every small town in Saskatchewan had was slowly vanishing. Lockhart decided to start documenting as many as he could find throughout the prairie provinces. To date, he has taken pictures of 465 elevators in the three prairie provinces — 275 of them in Saskatchewan alone — with 25 still to document.
Once Lockhart started to document all of the elevators, he created a Facebook page called, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba Grain Elevators, which has just under 9,000 followers. Some of the pictures that have been taken to conserve the history behind each elevator have almost 85,000 likes.
Lockhart names his top Saskatchewan elevators in no particular order as the Clemencaeu, Veregin, White Fox, Nut Mountain and Gronlid elevators. He mentions that these are all very rare as two of them are old red Sask Wheat Pool elevators and another being a Federal.
Some communities have gotten creative in saving these elevators that seem to be fading out of Saskatchewan history. Some have turned them into studios for bands to play, museums, tea houses and libraries. Many have been purchased privately and some have been renovated so that they are still useable grain elevators.
Lockhart found out that the oldest elevator in Canada was located at Elva (1897) and made the journey to see this elevator shortly before it burned down.
Lockhart says he is happy to see so many elevator enthusiasts use his page as a means of sharing photos and history behind each elevator — a great resource for anyone interested in learning and seeing all the different types of elevators on the prairies. To check out this group go to: https://www.facebook.com/groups/668808844032536