Lake of the Woods Milling Company purchased the Medicine Hat Milling Company in 1914. The mill then began producing the Five Roses Flour product line, an operation that would last until the mid-1950s. According to Archives Canada, the plant was expanded in 1916, which may have been when the elevator (as it's seen today) doubled in size from what was originally constructed - although the mill did start out as a wooden structure.
Ogilvie Flour Company purchased this mill in 1954 and ran it until closing in 1957. It was briefly functional in the 1960s, but for the most part it remained vacant until it was sold in the 1970s. The warehouse was then reduced in size (notice that upper floors were removed) and in 1976 it became the Inn at the Old Mill before becoming the Silver Buckle Inn.
Today the location is better recognized for the Silver Buckle bar, which is still a relatively busy place. The elevator, in part at least, is being used as a garage/junkyard for a surprisingly large collection of vintage trucks. A few detailed shots of the elevator reveal that it's in rough shape, however it remains a notable landmark because of its size and visibility from the highly trafficked overpass spanning the train tracks.
Of the various sites that I've documented around Medicine Hat, this one was interesting to me because despite it being recognizable, the history of the original site isn't common knowledge. Until looking through archival images, I had no idea the original warehouse used to be twice as tall, or that the elevator was once just 2 columns wide and later expanded to 5. Because the area is still heavily trafficked (I even go by it on my commute everyday) it's fascinating to see how the area has changed, especially with the overpass being constructed next to it in the 1960s. That said, it's unfortunate that the archival images I did find were undated, so you have to try and link them based on the information provided.
UPDATE: More information about the mill here.
|Ghosting image of my 2012 shot merged with an archival one.|
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