A small unassuming building at Brookdale, on the CPR Varcoe Subdivision in the Municipality of North Cypress-Langford, is believed to be the last surviving example of a flat grain warehouse in Manitoba. Before the advent of tall elevators for the storage of grain on the prairies, warehouses such as these were used to store cloth sacks of grain.
The rectangular, two-storey building with gable roof was constructed in 1902 by local entrepreneur David McNaughton and its wooden walls were covered with overlapping metal panels. The main floor had a small office in the southeast corner. The rest of the building was a large room with a large south-facing door for unloading grain sacks from horse-drawn farm wagons and a north-facing door for loading them into railway boxcars sitting on the tracks that run past the warehouse. A ladder near the south door led to a second floor used for longer-term storage.
In 1904, the warehouse was purchased by local merchant John Polworth Lawrie and used for buying and selling grain. In 1919, Lawrie bought a hardware store from J. B. Davidson and used the warehouse to store farm and building supplies. It was subsequently owned by his son, Angus C. Lawrie (1952-1969), and later by Raymond W. “Bill” Jones (1969-1990s) and Dan Jardine (1990s-2021).
On 28 October 2021, the building was moved to the Manitoba Agricultural Warehouse.
Brookdale Grain Warehouse (July 1993)
Source: Historic Resources Branch, Grain Elevator Inventory, slide 2250
Brookdale Grain Warehouse showing the decrepit wooden stairs leading into the office on its southeast corner (June 2016)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough
Aerial view of Brookdale Grain Warehouse (September 2020)
Source: George Penner
Interior of Brookdale Grain Warehouse (July 2021)
Source: Rose Kuzina
Foundation of Brookdale Grain Warehouse (July 2021)
Source: Rose Kuzina
Site Coordinates (lat/long): N50.04827, W99.56277
denoted by symbol on the map above
Historic Sites of Manitoba: Manitoba Pool Grain Elevator (Brookdale, Municipality of North Cypress-Langford)
Historic Sites of Manitoba: United Grain Growers Grain Elevator (Brookdale, Municipality of North Cypress-Langford)
Historic Sites of Manitoba: Manitoba Agricultural Museum (Austin, Municipality of North Norfolk)
Historic Sites of Manitoba: Abandoned Manitoba
Memorable Manitobans: David “Dave” McNaughton (1855-1930)
Memorable Manitobans: John Polworth Lawrie (1875-1951)
A History of Grain Elevators in Manitoba by John Everitt, Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Department of Culture, Heritage and Tourism, circa 1993.
Quest in Roots: History of Brookdale School District by Brookdale Historical Society History Book Committee, 1987. [Legislative Library of Manitoba, F5648.B81 Que]
We thank Ken Mitchell, Helen Mitchell, George Penner, and Rose Kuzina for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 12 November 2021
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