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Stettler group wants to convert
grain elevator into museum

reprinted from Red Deer Advocate (Brenda Kossowan) May 14, 2010
Efforts are underway to create a railway museum out of a retired grain elevator located in Stettler, right across the tracks from the town's most popular tourist attraction.

The former Parrish and Heimbecker grain elevator, feed mill and assorted outbuildings were mothballed in 2003 and then put up for sale.

Local farmer Stan Eichhorn couldn't stomach the idea of losing one of the town's last remaining elevators -- so he bought it for the princely sum of $1. He felt that, with Alberta Prairie Rail Excursions as a track-side neighbour, the towering yellow structure was too precious as a local landmark to be torn down.

Eichhorn was able to negotiate an agreement with American Railway, the company that owned the land on which the elevator, annex and outbuildings were built.

Alberta Prairie later purchased the land and has formed an agreement that will ensure that the elevator can stay at the site where it was first built, sometime during the 1920s.

With building and land secured, Eichhorn approached some like-minded individuals to form the Stettler P&H Elevator Preservation Society, now a registered non-profit group legally entitled to issue tax receipts for donations.

They're going to need every penny they can find, says Eichhorn, president of the group. The group is laying plans to restore the grain elevator to working order so it can be used for live demonstrations. Members want to fix the remaining buildings up as well, and set up exhibits inside.

They also hope to return the elevator, which is badly in need of a paint job, to its original deep red colour. Eichhorn estimates that project alone at $40,000 to $50,000.

The elevator office already functions as a local gathering point, much the same as it did during its working years, albeit on severely limited hours. Society members open the office for morning coffee three days a week, from 8:30 to 11 a.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

They hope a garage sale planned for the Victoria Day long weekend will also give their bank account a bit of a boost.

The sale is set for 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. Members will serve coffee, doughnuts and cookies to people attending the sale.

       News article: Heritage projects share grant funding (Red Deer Advocate July 2013)
       News article: Relic caboose gets new home
(Red Deer Advocate May 2013)
       News article: Rail link effort chugging along
(Red Deer Advocate May 2013)
       News article: Big Valley station banks on restored roof (Stettler Independent Apr.2013)
       Blog: Big Valley Canadian Northern Station Celebrates 100 Years
(RETROactive Sept.2012)
       News article: Track for historic railway tours likely to be done by late summer
(Red Deer Advocate June 2011)
       Feature article: 6060 turns 66
(Red Deer Express Sept.2010)
       News article: Rail being laid for heritage line
(Red Deer Advocate Sept.2010)
       News article: Train track wanted
(Red Deer Advocate May 2010)
       News article: Major funding will restore rail line to Donalda
(Stettler Independent Oct.2009)

Canadian Northern Railway in Central Alberta (CNR) - Camrose to Drumheller
Canadian National Railway Stations in Central Alberta

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