Grain Elevators of
The Mill City
Minneapolis, MN

Looking out of Kurth Malt a the neighbors--the silos past Electric Steel are those of the Froedert Malt Company, now gone.

Intro

To the locals, it’s Mill Hell…

where Grain elevators go to die.

But to the city it’s the Southeast Minneapolis Industrial area (SEMI). Everyone else—they just see the grain elevators, or look through them. As someone who could not find too much about these concrete colossuses for years, I felt like I owed fellow children of the Twin Cities the story these elevators, when I learned it.

Bunge, Sept 29 (Source: Library of Congress, FSA:OWI Collection, LC-USF34- 060350-D)
Bunge, Sept 29 (Source: Library of Congress, FSA:OWI Collection, LC-USF34- 060350-D)

Everyone who lives in Minneapolis and St. Paul has driven past the rows of silos hundreds of times, but not many know what they were for, or when they popped up. To give the short answers: they stored different kinds of seeds to make flours and oils with, on behalf of malting plants, flour mills, and linseed presses. The first elevators here were built in the 1880s and the newest date to the 1940s.

You may now skim the photos if you wish, guilt-free. Below I simply elaborate, going company by company and elevator by elevator, to give a biography by amalgam. Mill Hell is a composite, so why should its history be any different?