Sharples is my second favorite place to go when I feel like shooting some landscapes (first one is Rowley). Mostly because it is abandoned and I have a thing for all things old, but also because it is pretty much in the middle of nowhere and nobody will come to bother you. I have been there for the past three years during different seasons and only once I met one other photographer doing the same thing I was. Other than that encounter and the random truck going through the valley, I was pretty much on my own.
According to local lore the place never got to be more than a siding on the rail line, marked by the few houses in the area and sheds which I did not explore. The elevator built in 1923 for Parish and Heimbecker was used only as a delivery point and there were no formal businesses located in the area. In 1927 a second elevator owned by Alberta Wheat Pool was built and lasted until 1982 when it was finally demolished. The elevator had two annexes built at around the same time but only one remains at the moment while you can still see the old connecting pipe between the elevator and the former annex.
In 1922 the community was named after John Sharples, a Saskatoon railway fireman who won the Distinguished Conduct Medal during the Great War and that’s all I could find about this little community lost in the middle of the Canadian Prairies.