Wooden grain elevators are a Canadian symbol. Unfortunately the grain elevators are rapidly disappearing. In all of British Columbia, only four still stand—and two of these are in Creston.

Built in 1935 and 1936, Creston’s elevators were used to collect, store and ship locally grown wheat, barley, oats and rye. Since their closures in 1971 and 1982, they have seen little use or major upkeep—but have remained important icons for the Creston community and its residents.

Now the Trust has acquired these significant heritage buildings to ensure they’ll be restored and preserved. Once they’re stabilized and protected from further deterioration, the Trust will engage with the community to determine how they can be used in a contemporary way.

Heritage consultant Elana Zysblat helped evaluate their historical value. “The uniqueness of these elevators is that their location isn’t a field in some remote, isolated area like many Prairie grain elevators—this is downtown Creston. The fact that we have two of them side by side, in such an accessible location, makes them more unique and likely more valuable than most grain elevators in the entire country.”

Putting an emphasis on the past while looking to the future

In addition to helping maintain landmarks like the Creston grain elevators, the Trust supports the work of museums and archives as they document our local histories. The Trust recently committed $7.8 million over three years to support the Basin’s heritage values, which included providing over $2 million in funding to 42 projects. The Trust also partners with Heritage BC to support a Basin-based heritage planner, who helps local groups and organizations increase their capacities for conserving the region’s past. The overall aim: to help preserve the Basin’s history and share it with future generations.

ourtrust.org/heritage

J.B. Fletcher Store
In Ainsworth, the J.B. Fletcher Restoration Society will be repairing the J.B. Fletcher Store, including stabilizing the storefront, removing lead paint and mould, and adding heating and insulation. Built in 1896, the store is valued as one of the last surviving buildings from the original Ainsworth townsite, which is considered the oldest mining settlement in the West Kootenay.