The Tatamagouche Grain Elevator turns 60 on Oct. 1 and a special celebration is planned for Saturday. Raissa Tetanish photo

A special celebration is in the works for the grain elevator’s 60th birthday.

Richard Duggan, co-owner with Jimmie LeFresne, said Sept. 30 will be an all-day event to honour the grain elevator’s past and present. It will turn 60 on Oct. 1.

“We’re hoping to have former workers from the feed mill on site giving a tour of the machinery,” said Duggan, who purchased the grain elevator in 2009 to save it from despair.

“We’ll also have cake, and posters with important dates in history of the building.”

J.J. Creighton built and operated the Tatamagouche Feed Mill in 1955, with the elevator portion being built in 1957. The building was sold to Scotsburn Dairy in 1967, following Creighton’s death. The dairy business operated it until 2005.

The grain elevator measures 70 feet high, and was constructed in the post and beam method. It’s made entirely of wood, with a full concrete basement.

Duggan said he delights in seeing many tourists’ reaction to seeing the grain elevator, which is the only Prairie style elevator east of Manitoba.

Prior to the elevator, a warehouse was constructed in the mid-1950s, followed by another small building 10 years after the elevator was built. The smaller building was used for a rental portion, however collectively it was known as the feed mill. Whatever your farm needs – seeds, hardware, or even live chicks – you could find it at the feed mill.

During its operations, grain would be delivered via railway to the elevator, where it would be made into a variety of feed. To mix with the feed was molasses, stored in a large tank outside.

When the railway closed in 1986, trucks took over delivery to the elevator.

In 2005, Scotsburn Dairy closed the feed mill and offered it to the community, which was declined. Four years later, it was scheduled for demolition when LeFresne and Duggan stepped in.

“It was probably going to end up being torn down. Jimmie knew I wanted a project and he wanted the grain elevator saved,” said Duggan, who also purchased the warehouse and shop below the grain elevator with his wife, Sara.

The couple has renovated the warehouse and shop, turning it into a shopper’s delight from May to October, with plans to do more.

 

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Raissa Tetanish
Raissa Tetanish is the editor of the Tatamagouche Light. She has more than 12 years experience as a reporter, with a background in both photography and photojournalism. She can be reached at 902-305-6177, or raissatetanish@tatamagouchelight.com.