Historic Sites of Manitoba: Brookdale Grain Warehouse (Brookdale, Municipality of North Cypress-Langford)
A small unassuming building at Brookdale, on the CPR Varcoe Subdivision in the Municipality of North Cypress-Langford, is believed to be the last surviving example of a flat grain warehouse in Manitoba. Before the advent of tall elevators for the storage of grain on the prairies, warehouses such as these were used to store cloth sacks of grain.
The rectangular, two-storey building with gable roof was constructed in 1902 by local entrepreneur David McNaughton and its wooden walls were covered with overlapping metal panels. The main floor had a small office in the southeast corner. The rest of the building was a large room with a large south-facing door for unloading grain sacks from horse-drawn farm wagons and a north-facing door for loading them into railway boxcars sitting on the tracks that run past the warehouse. A ladder near the south door led to a second floor used for longer-term storage.
In 1904, the warehouse was purchased by local merchant John Polworth Lawrie and used for buying and selling grain. In 1919, Lawrie bought a hardware store from J. B. Davidson and used the warehouse to store farm and building supplies. It was subsequently owned by his son, Angus C. Lawrie (1952-1969), and later by Raymond W. “Bill” Jones (1969-1990s) and Dan Jardine (1990s-2021).
On 28 October 2021, the building was moved to the Manitoba Agricultural Warehouse.
A History of Grain Elevators in Manitoba by John Everitt, Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Department of Culture, Heritage and Tourism, circa 1993.
Quest in Roots: History of Brookdale School District by Brookdale Historical Society History Book Committee, 1987. [Legislative Library of Manitoba, F5648.B81 Que]
We thank Ken Mitchell, Helen Mitchell, George Penner, and Rose Kuzina for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 12 November 2021