As the twenty-first century marches forward, the country grain elevator rapidly nears extinction. These classic wooden structures once used to store grain are being torn down by the hundreds along with thousands of miles of railway branchlines. A proud and honored way of life is coming to end.
Wheat Kings is a lavishly illustrated and poignantly written look at the passing of the traditional northern prairie grain elevators and the communities and railcars that served them. The book includes photographs of grain elevators from numerous small prairie towns. Also included are images of the region's train stations, churches, farms and commercial buildings, many abandoned.
The book is organized by six concise essays. These include:
Wheat Kings: brief history of grain elevators
Of Peddlers, Pullers and Tramps: the prairie railroad system
Something Big on the Horizon: concrete high-capacity super elevators
McMahon - Hard Times on the Prairies: a forgotten town
The Last Harvest: an elevator comes down
Buffalo Bones: the end of the railroad grain cars.
Wheat Kings is a chronicle of the end of an era as witnessed by one of North America's best-known and most-respected railroad writers and photographers. This book is sure to fascinate railway enthusiasts, transportation historians, and anyone interested in the changing worlds of farming and railroading.