Historic Sites of Manitoba: Inglis Grain Elevators (Inglis, RM of Riding Mountain West)
A group of five grain elevators in the village of Inglis in the Rural Municipality of Riding Mountain West is one of the last remaining examples of a once-common prairie icon. Now preserved as a national historic site and a provincial historic site, the Inglis site represents an important period in the development of Canada’s grain industry from 1900 to 1930.
The history of the five elevators located at Inglis reflects the changes in the grain-buying industry over the last century. Paterson & Son built the most northerly elevator along the new CPR branch line in 1922. An annex was added to this elevator in 1949. The smallest elevator, built in 1922 by the Matheson-Lindsay elevator company, was sold in 1928 to the Province Elevator Company, later known as the Reliance Elevator Company. Reliance built a second, larger elevator immediately beside the old one in 1940. These two elevators, once connected and operated from one office, were sold to Manitoba Pool in 1952. In 1971, during a friendly exchange, involving United Grain Growers, Pool, and Paterson, to consolidate shipping points, Pool sold its two Inglis elevators to UGG.
The fourth elevator was constructed by the Northern Elevator Company in 1922, and along with the entire Northern Elevator line was amalgamated into the American-owned National Grain in 1940. This company was taken over by Cargill Grain in 1974. They later sold or traded their Inglis elevator to Paterson. The southernmost elevator was built in 1925 by United Grain Growers to replace an earlier one destroyed by fire in 1922. Very little major renovation or modernization took place on any of the structures over the 70 years of their commercial existence, but in the same period, the number of grain companies operating in Manitoba shrunk from 67 to eight. In Inglis, this consolidation left five grain-buying facilities in the hands of two major companies. Eventually, when the adjacent railway line was abandoned, those companies transferred ownership of the elevators to a local group which is maintaining them as a museum.
Plaques in recogntion of the signifance of the Inglis grain elevators have been erected by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada (2000) and the Manitoba Heritage Council (2002). A further plaque recognizes a 2003 donation of $100,000 from the Murphy Foundation to complete the restoration of the two former Reliance Grain Company elevators at the site. Some restoration at the site was part of the Manitoba Prairie Icons Project.
Information on the hours of operation for the facility is available on the Inglis Grain Elevators website.
Agents / Buyers (UGG)
Agents / Buyers (Manitoba Pool)
Photos & Maps
United Grain Growers Fonds, MSS76, Box 59, University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections.
Manitoba Pool Fonds, S. J. McKee Archives, Brandon University.
We thank Jean McManus for providing additional information used here.
Page revised: 20 October 2016
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