|The Alexander Ramsey Mill was open from 1857-94 on the lower falls, producing 125 barrels of flour a day.|
The day the mill closed, it burned, and all that remains 120 years later are the weathered stone parts rising like towers above the rapids.
A few miles upstream is the upper falls, where the first mill was built in 1853 and has been in continuous operation since. The oldest remaining section of the mill with some of the old water driven machinery is at the center of the photo.
For many years King Midas Flour was milled here. I remember my mom and grandma using King Midas Flour in orange and blue bags with the king and his magic wand on them.
As business grew, so did the mill, and it is flanked on three sides by different construction styles.
Today it is owned and operated by ConAgra, a huge U.S. food conglomerate, and 55,000 bushels of wheat, rye, and malted barley are milled per day.
The 3-mile hike on the Vermillion River Trail through the gorge and beautiful rock outcroppings was one I will do again when the native spring flowers are in bloom.
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