For nine years in the 1940’s, Sexsmith was the grain capital of the British Empire. Now, only one historic grain elevator remains in the town.
The Sexsmith and District Museum Society wants to preserve their last grain elevator, and County Council has agreed to provide them with a letter of support for their grant application.
“In the Peace, it will be the last one because all the elevators in Rycroft have been torn down. I think there’s one left in Grimshaw, and that’s about it for the Peace Country. It would be a great asset,” said James Obniawka, President of the Sexsmith and District Museum Society.
The plan is to renovate the exterior first, eventually transforming the interior into a small museum with displays featuring local farmers.
“Eventually, hopefully, maybe we can have the office turned into a space where we have pictures of local farmers with stories underneath the pictures. And sort of display the history of grain in Sexsmith,” Obniawka explained.
Obniawka adds a plebiscite will be on the ballot for voters in Sexsmith on supporting the restoration when folks head to the polls for municipal elections October 16.
“It’s going to be interesting if the people in the Town of Sexsmith will be in favour of keeping the elevator or getting rid of it. So, that’s always in our back mind.”
There will be an information session for council candidates September 25 at 7:00 p.m. at the Sexsmith Council Chambers and a public information session September 27 from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Sexsmith Civic Centre.
The total cost to restore the exterior and interior is roughly $750,000.
The initiative has now received support from both County of Grande Prairie Council and Town of Sexsmith Council.
(Photo courtesy of Facebook)