Prairie Icon

Dorothy grain elevator

Right in the heart of the badlands of the Drumheller valley in Alberta sits the former Alberta Pacific grain elevator that was built in the 1920’s. It operated for 30 years, and closed in the 1950s. The roof was torn off in a bad wind storm in 2015. Here the structure sits, being worn down by the continued demands of Mother Nature.

If the walls could talk, they would tell stories of the local farmers hauling grain in to get a cheque to pay bills, and invest further into their farming businesses. Farming has never been easy in this area. The summers are hot, and rain can be spotty. The farming families in this area have adapted and grown substantially since that time. Many have several thousand acres, and haul grain to cement terminals south or north of this area.

Even though I live only hours from this landmark, it took me until now to finally see it in person. I participated in a workshop with Pete Ryan photographing the Dorothy area. It was a great day, and I learned a lot from an extremely talented National Geographic photographer.

Supposedly the Dorothy grain elevator is going to be torn down in the coming months. So, capturing this image meant a lot as it’s been on my bucket list for a while. Also, my hope is to get here again, and capture this prairie icon in all of its beauty with the sun coming up over the coulee.


Photo Details:

Dorothy, Alberta


May 16, 2019


Farming , Landscapes

A forgotten wooden elevator shows off along the roadside near the ghost town of Dorothy, Alberta.