I recently had the honor of being able to film inside the Co-Op Grain Elevator. The project started as a simple short and has expanded a bit from what I had initially had in mind. You see there are much more to grain elevators than one might think at first glance. Read on to find out more…
From the outside, they look like there must be several levels or floors to the structure, but that is actually not the case. The grain bins are several stories tall and there are no levels to speak of except for two near the very top where a rotatable chute would allow the operator to choose which bin the grain being elevated was to go. You can only access the top by climbing roughly 80 feet up a wooden ladder.
The first level you reach is the right below the top level and since the windows were boarded up, there is no light to speak of, save for the battery powered lights I brought with me. This level is where the tops of the multistory bins are located. An operator would have accessed this level to service the chutes and take inventory of how much grain was in each bin. This is also the level that contains the metal chute that was used for directing grain to the awaiting train cars on the east side of the elevator.
Next, it is up another wooden ladder to the top. The reward for overcoming my initial fear, which hit me at ground level by the way, was literally a birds eye view of Sandpoint from the tallest building in town. It is hard to describe my elation of finally being above the Panhandle State Bank Building, or whatever it is now called. SIMPLY AMAZING!
I still have a lot exterior filming left to do, but just thought I would share some initial visuals of the grain elevator short film project. The Co-Op Grain Elevator in Sandpoint is without a doubt one of the few historic gems our town still has left. Remembering and honoring where we came from is so important to navigating our future. Thanks for reading.
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