Leo Páge Miniature Farm Display
When the elevator closed their doors for the last time, Leo decided he wanted to build a replica of the 1928 building, which was originally an Alberta Wheat Pool elevator. He and his son took the measurements and set them up on a computerized “blueprint” for Leo to follow. Leo figured it took him about 400 hours just on the elevator. He worked hard to make his scale authentic, right down to the original dark red paint that was the original color across the prairies. The main construction is crib style and is all nailed. The siding took 6 days which is made from popsicle sticks glued to the cribbed framework. And he used real cedar shingles, just like the original. Leo paid close attention to fine detail, like the tiny driveway entrance which reveals an elevator leg, a screen over the pit opening and a scale. He made arrangements with Jackie Hofs of Jacran Signs to hand letter the name on the side.
He mounted his model on a four-foot square piece of plywood. He laid down a strip of HO gauge rails and put a box car and couple of hoppers on the track to add to the realism.
Then he started building the detached office building, the coal shed, the storage shed and he just kept building more and more of the community. Eventually Leo and his wife would showcase his display at farm and county shows.
While Leo was sad to see the old 1928 elevator go, the upside was his model was a true version of the original and it was a tribute to those who worked there and to the farmers who supported it during the more than 70 years it served the community.
When Leo passed on, his wife Barbara and his brother Rene wanted to see his collection put on public display. They asked if the Canadian Tractor Museum would consider displaying it. Rene built a Plexiglas cover for it and brought in a portion of the display and offered to change it out every year.
On Friday July 13, 2001, the last of the three Alberta Wheat pool elevators built in Pickardville was torn down. It had been built in 1928 and was a visible sign of the agricultural community and a landmark for over 73 years.
Leo & Barbara Páge had a small farm just 2 ½ miles south of the hamlet and Leo recalled many trips to the elevator as a young boy with his father and years later as an adult hauling grain there.
Leo would take his farm display to various tractor shows.