Historic Yorkton Flour Mill Opens to the Public

Yorkton, Sask. –

Yorkton’s historic brick flour mill opened to the public on Tuesday.

“It’s really nice to have people come to see this really important part of Yorkton’s history,” said tour guide Megan Kirby.

The landmark was built in 1900 and is the only brick flour mill in Western Canada, according to Brick Mill Heritage Society member Larry Pearen.

“We’re thrilled the doors are finally opening, it’s been a long journey, (and) eight years of fundraising,” he said.

So far, $300,000 has been invested in the nearly 125-year-old building. The factory structure has stood the test of time, and Pearen said she had three and four layers of brick for each wall.

Within these walls is all the original equipment.

“We’re very lucky,” Pearen said. “It’s not operational and never will be, but at least it’s there so you can see all the mechanics in the building.”

The building has three floors and a basement. The basement is closed to the public due to fire code.

Historically, wheat was processed six times before being made into flour. A series of pipes would carry the product from the basement to the top floor, where it would be screened.

The pipes are located on the second floor. Before the days of metal clamps, pipes were held together by wheat-based gum.

“Every morning you would come in and half of those pipes had fallen off, so you had to chew wheat to get gum and stick it back together,” Pearen said.

On the first floor there are six mills to break the wheat and machines to bag the final product.

“This mill and wheat exchange program saved their family’s lives because they could bring back wheat and bring home an equivalent amount of flour,” Kirby said.

“I’m really excited to share the local history.”

Tours are free and can be booked on line.