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Grain elevator built by Doukhobors named Sask. Provincial Heritage Property

The Veregin Christian Community of Universal Brotherhood Grain Elevator is Saskatchewan’s newest Provincial Heritage Property.
The Veregin Christian Community of Universal Brotherhood Grain Elevator is Saskatchewan’s newest Provincial Heritage Property. Patti Negrave / Supplied - Government of Saskatchewan

One of Saskatchewan’s oldest known grain elevators has been designated a Provincial Heritage Property.

The Veregin Christian Community of Universal Brotherhood Grain Elevator was built in 1908 by the Doukhobors in Veregin, roughly 50 kilometres northeast of Yorkton.

It is located beside the Canadian National Railway track and is part of the National Doukhobor Heritage Village.

READ MORE: New Provincial Heritage Property recognizes African-American settlement in Sask.

Wooden crib grain elevators first appeared on Saskatchewan’s landscape in the 1880s and represent an important phase in the evolution of grain handing facilities.

At one time, there were over 3,000 of these elevators across the province.

“At last count there were 427 wooden elevators left standing in Saskatchewan,” Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Gene Makowsky said.

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“Once one of the most prominent architectural features on the Canadian prairies, these iconic structures still remain a visual symbol for the whole region.”

READ MORE: Regina Indian Industrial School cemetery designated a provincial heritage property

The Veregin community was established by the Doukhobors in 1904, who emigrated to Saskatchewan from Russia seeking land and religious freedom.

The settlement soon became a commercial centre for the Doukhobor community and the elevator was one of several businesses owned by the organization.

The Doukhobors are also recognized for their association with the co-operative movement in the province, with farmer-owned co-ops playing an important role in grain handling during the early 20th century.

The National Doukhobor Heritage Village is a National Heritage Site located on Highway 5 between Canora and Kamsack.