Let’s Tour the Plum Coulee Elevator!

In the past, Andrew and I traveled overseas each summer. We’ve been to every continent but Antarctica (we’re still hoping to get there yet, someday) and I miss that kind of travel.

On the other hand, I’m grateful for the opportunity to focus solely on Manitoba.

Yes. Grateful.

I love this province and have said for years that I didn’t know enough about my own home and hadn’t seen nearly enough here. So yeah, being forced to travel local is a sort of blessing.

I won’t deny my sad wistful side that wants to jet off into the sunset over the ocean with Andrew, but I think it can co-exist with the side of me that’s happy to continue traveling exclusively in Manitoba this summer.

A few weeks ago I posted about the historic grain elevators of Inglis. These are a must-see, of course. Especially as Manitoba’s grain elevator population is shrinking at an alarming rate.

The elevators that had once dotted the prairies every few miles are now a rare sight, so I feel a great sense of urgency to visit the ones that remain.

Such as the grain elevator in Plum Coulee!

The Prairie View Elevator Museum has been on my radar for a long time, even back when I think it had been a teahouse! And why not repurpose these unique sturdy structures?

This particular grain elevator is actually pretty new, as far as grain elevators go. Manitoba Pool built this structure in 1975! According to the brochure I managed to snag, it’s 108 feet high. Its 1980s upgrade included the installation of a computerized overhead shipping scale. I’m trying to imagine the cost, and the space, taken up by such an ’80s-era upgrade. In 1998 its name was changed to Agricore… and then in 2002 the entire structure was gifted to the Town of Plum Coulee.

The museum had once been located elsewhere in town, and in 2010 was moved into the grain elevator.

I feel like between the years 2002 and 2010 this structure was home to the teahouse? Guess I missed out on that, BUT I was excited to step inside this grain elevator museum!

Wandering about inside reveals what a treasure this museum really is.

Apparently this showpiece of a truck was donated in August 2020!
View of the main room from the stairs which lead to the upper levels.

Andrew and I were so pleased to have been lucky enough to visited on the very last day of their season last year. I had not been paying close attention to their opening and closing dates, and in fact we had just stopped in on a whim, as we were returning home from Altona.

The museum contains many rooms, each displaying a different aspect of prairie history.


(I remember learning about goiter. Apparently it used to be a big problem until they put iodine in our table salt?)

Then we found this fascinating room!

Indigenous history and Mennonite history share a room at this museum.

For some reason we weren’t especially expecting to see anything Mennonite here, so this was a surprise.

They even have this cool map on the wall.

I’m very jealous of this Hutterite bonnet. Excellent face-shielding capabilities.

Then you can climb upstairs!

Where you’ll find a large colourful collection of antique tins. Pretty eye-catching.

This was our first time in Plum Coulee and we missed being able to go to Annajo’s Bistro or the thrift shop. We were too late. I’m just very thankful we were right on time to still see the elevator museum!

While we were there, we strolled around town a little bit.

I feel like the plum pride is on display. I mean, this place does have one of the cutest names.

I think this may be where prestigious violinist Rosemary Siemens performs when she visits her hometown?

I felt like I should spend more time here. So, we’ll aim to return this summer! And I recommend you put the Prairie View Elevator on your must-visit list for this summer as well! The brochure tells me they’re open Tues-Sat throughout July and August, with admission by donation. I see on their Facebook page that they have very cute shirts for sale too. I may have to snag one this summer!

Related post:

Last of the Prairie Skyscrapers