For nearly a century, a wooden tower has loomed over the prairie town of Andrew in western Canada, rising from the rolling landscape land like a lone sentinel. Built during the agricultural boom of the early 20th century, the grain elevator – and six others that stood nearby – once bore testament to the town’s prosperity.
Today, the main street of Andrew is quiet, even on a weekday at noon. Many of the town’s storefronts are shuttered and all that remains of the railway line is a faint imprint on the ground. The local school only has 70 students, and residents wonder how long it can remain open.
Andrew is no stranger to loss: over the years, jobs and residents have slowly dwindled. But when its last remaining grain elevator was slated for demolition, the community battled hard to win a stay of execution.
“Trying to save this thing was like praying to God,” said Dave Cuthbert, a resident. “You were never certain if your voice was being heard.”