Grain Elevators of
The Mill City
Minneapolis, MN

Demolished Elevators

THE DEAD

For those elevators lost to the wrecking ball in the last 100 years.

(Even more) ADM Elevators

As mentioned briefly, there are many ADM elevators that used to fill the voids in SEMI we see today. Most monstrous being ADM-Delmar #3, which was built throughout the 1920s (1925, 1928, 1929). It topped-out at 180 feet and had about 80 bins by my quick count. It also included a huge cleaning house.

Russell-Miller Flour

It is strange the way these names and brands disappear over the years—Occidental Flour used to be found everywhere.

Russell-Miller flour ad
Russell-Miller flour ad

I can scarcely walk into an antique store without finding their advertising pieces (“Costs More—Worth it” and “It’s No Accident—It’s Occident”). As mentioned in my explanation of Kurth/Electric Malting, Russell Miller had a big interest in the area, including two flour mills.

Russel Miller B 1910 (Source: Sweet, MH5.9 MP3.1E p14, mnhs.org)
Russel Miller B 1910 (Source: Sweet, MH5.9 MP3.1E p14, mnhs.org)

These mills were not as big as Pillsbury’s, but they proved very efficient. It was fed by the Electric Steel elevator by a 85’ steel skyway. Other than its mills (simply “A” and “B”), their complex included a Laboratory, Experimental Bakery, Machine Shop, Offices, an Engine Room, Carpentry Shop, and a big warehouse.

A week before this building was knocked down.
A week before this building was knocked down.

Construction took place in two big waves, one around 1910 and a second a decade later, corresponding with the build dates of the two mills: A in 1908 and B in 1919.

Minneapolis residents may recall Scooterville and the artist lofts there—these were built into the shell of the 1919 bill and 1925 warehouse. These two buildings survived until early 2008.

Stewart Elevator

(Banner Grain Co., Marquette Elevator)

Banner Grain built and ran this elevator under the moniker ‘Stewart Elevator’, the first name of its president. Most of the complex dates to the 1920s, though some sections were added in the 1930s, such as a central workhouse, and the 1940s, such as the northern annex.

Unlike other elevators companies here (except ADM to a lesser extent), Banner utilized a bulk grain warehouse in addition to its bins—essentially a giant reinforced building meant to store one giant pile of grain. It was demolished in 2007.

Froedert Grain & Malting

Van Dusen-Harrington's Interstate 1, 1914 (Source: MH5.9 MP3.1E p23, Hibbard, mnhs.org)
Van Dusen-Harrington’s Interstate 1, 1914 (Source: MH5.9 MP3.1E p23, Hibbard, mnhs.org)

The latest casualty. A later arrival to the malting industry in the area, years after Electric/Pioneer Malting, the company expanded their footprint from their elevator, built in 1927 and expanded in 1929 and 1949, when they bought the former Van Dusen elevator, the Interstate (b.1889-96).

Visitors to Red Wing, Minn. will see another abandoned Froedert Malting elevator.

Spencer, Kellogg & Sons

Kellogg & Sons, Sept. 1939 (Source: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA:OWI Collection, LC-USF34- 060289-D)
Kellogg & Sons, Sept. 1939 (Source: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA:OWI Collection, LC-USF34- 060289-D)

Spencer, Kellogg & Sons ran a large linseed oil mill just south of the Occidental Flour Mills, contributing to the 2nd biggest industry in Minneapolis. Additionally they operated a few big elevators in the area to store the linseeds before processing.

Like ADM’s mill, this consisted of various tank rooms and press rooms—none of which survive today.

Van Dusen-Harrington Co.

Van Dusen Harrington Ad, National Grain Journal, July 1922
Van Dusen Harrington Ad, National Grain Journal, July 1922

The demolished original. In addition to planning and, for a time, operating the Electric Steel Elevator, Van Dusen operated his own terminal elevators in the area, the most famous of which are the Interstate and the St. Anthony.

The Interstate was a two-elevator complex: #1 was built in 1889 and #2 in 1896, each at about 90 feet and mostly of wood. St. Anthony used three interconnected elevators made of tile and concrete, built in 1885, 1892, and 1901. There was also a grain dryer and big fire pump house nearby.

RLX
RLX

In the place of the Interstate now stands the University of Minnesota football field and where the St. Anthony complex used to stand there is a recycling company and container yard.

Merchant’s Elevator Co (Continental)

Another recent loss. This elevator stood just south of Marquette Elevator and was originally known as Merchant’s Elevator. In the late 1940s it was bought by Continental, and had that name until it was demolished in 2007 to make room for a University of Minnesota expansion.

It was built between 1907 and 1912.

References »

  • (1901). Minnesota. The Grain Dealers Journal, 6, 280. Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books?id=qT0yAQAAMAAJ
  • (1907). A glimpse of the wheat industry in the north west.Grain and Farm Service Centers, 18, 105. Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books?id=jUMyAQAAMAAJ
  • (1908). The Wine and Spirit Bulletin, 22(4), 67. Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books?id=vQFQAAAAYAAJ
  • (1912). Big minneapolis terminal elevator to change hands.Commercial West, , 22, 46. Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books?id=waAwAQAAMAAJ
  • (1914). Engineering features. Journal of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers , 36(5), 1914. Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books?id=woRMAAAAYAAJ
  • (1920). The marquette elevator co. The Northwestern miller, Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books?id=HWlZAAAAYAAJ
  • (1922). Mineapolis men buy malting plant. American feed and grain, 6, 38. Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books?id=3mBBAAAAYAAJ
  • (1922). The Northwest Miller, 129. Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books?id=j2JZAAAAYAAJ
  • Como history. Retrieved from https://sites.google.com/a/comogreenvillage.info/como-history/home/places/bunge-elevator
  • Daykin, T. (2010). Historic milwaukee malting plant to shut down, laying off 23. Knight Ridder Tribune Business New
  • House Agriculture Committee. (1921). Future trading. (p. 823). Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books?id=5GU10ot5Jg8C
  • Sanborn fire insurance co. maps [Print]. (1952).
  • Steller, C. (2006, Feb 22). Student falls to death at bunge.Bridgeland News. Retrieved from http://www.bridgelandnews.org/757
  • Shutter, M. (1932). History of minneapolis: gateway to the northwest. S.J. Clarke Publishing Company.