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Historic Sites of Manitoba: Portland Cement Association Monument and Quarry (Steep Rock, RM of Grahamdale)

From 1913 to 1992, high-calcium limestone for the production of Portland cement was quarried by the Canada Cement Company at this site near Steep Rock in the Rural Municipality of Grahamdale, and shipped to its production plant in Winnipeg. Production of limestone reached 494,000 tonnes in 1978 and it continued at that level until 1982. From a machine where the quarried stone was crushed, the quarry extended toward the shore of Lake Manitoba. By 1971, the quarry was about 2,600 feet wide and 3,000 feet in length, and ranged from 35 to 40 feet in depth.

About 15 to 20 people were employed at the quarry, which operated until closure around 1989. A monument at the former site, situated beside a locomotive and steam shovel that were formerly used at the quarry, contains a plaque presented by the Portland Cement Association in recognition of the company’s excellent safety record. In 1944, it operated throughout the year without a lost-time, permanent disability, or fatal accident. The plaque was reawarded in 1945, 1946, 1949, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, and 1989.

Portland Cement Association Monument

Portland Cement Association Monument (August 2012)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Steam locomotive at the former portland cement manufacturing facility

Steam locomotive at the former portland cement manufacturing facility (August 2012)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Steam shovel at the former portland cement manufacturing facility

Steam shovel at the former portland cement manufacturing facility (August 2012)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Steep Rock quarry

Steep Rock quarry (August 2020)
Source: Rose Kuzina

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N51.44238, W98.79740
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Canada Cement Plant (McGillivray Boulevard, Winnipeg)

Manitoba Business: Canada Cement Company

Sources:

“High-calcium limestone deposits of Manitoba” by B. B. Bannatyne, Manitoba Department of Mines, Resources and Environmental Management, Publication 75-1, 1975.

“Industrial minerals in Manitoba” by James D. Bamburak, Geological Services Branch, Manitoba Energy and Mines, 29 September 1998.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough, Rose Kuzina, and James Bamburak.

Page revised: 14 November 2020

Historic Sites of Manitoba

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