In 2009 this old building was demolished at the corner of Milton St and Hecate St in Nanaimo's Old City/Nob Hill area. It was built in the 1940s or earlier (if someone knows when it was built, please comment below).
I took a bunch of photos before/during demolition because it was a fascinating building, very creepy in its latter days, and built with huge old-growth timbers considered almost priceless nowadays. In fact, some of the beams from this building were cut into veneer panels to be used in a high-end resort in Australia; the old copper nails had caused "blooms" of colour throughout the wood (not pictured here unfortunately).
I posted a photo on Facebook some years ago, and someone said they used wood from this building in a home they built - they used it "for beams and the stairs going to the loft area and it looks so awesome".
This building went by many names over the years. In no particular order, it was called Stannard's Feed, the egg pool, Nanaimo Farmer's Co-Op, Nanaimo Egg and Feed Co-op, and Bartertown (it enjoyed a stint as a second-hand store after a 1986/87 renovation).
It was called "The Egg Pool" by many neighbourhood residents for years, because it "mainly candled eggs" according to one local; it also "produced its own feed and grain mixes for farm animals, it also had a rail siding where grain trains would come in".
Another Facebook user remembers "when a truck hit the molasses tank the size of a rail car, emptied the whole tank all over the street" (molasses would be used for mixing into livestock feed during the winter).
Even during its heyday, the building attracted more than its share of rats, owing to its grain supply and later to its unmanaged condition. From Facebook: "When it was the farmers co-op I was there a few times repairing sheet metal work. You could hear the rats everywhere. One the size of a small dog fell out of a pipe I was working on. Happy memories!"
I know a guy who climbed the silo (inside) in later years; he said there were artifacts to be found, but also an extreme amount of pigeon droppings.
Another guy mentioned they "used to catch pigeons there back in the late 70s early 80s. We'd sell them to friends for $1.00 a bird. Lol"
It's interesting to see inside the walls and floors - old insulation, wire for the stucco, big joists, etc.
Please comment down below if you remember this building and have any stories or insight!
This may be one of the last times the "Dayliner" ran passengers along the E&N Railway.
Posted by Gerry Thomasen on
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