Monday, April 21, 2014

Mills on the Vermillion River


      The Vermillion River in Dakota County is only 60 miles long and not very wide, but drops through a granite gorge made it ideal for early settlers to harness its power for gristmills along its banks.  There is a beautiful trail along the river near Hastings, Minnesota, that passes two of the historic mills.
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.
 
Thank you for visiting my blog.  I enjoy reading your comments, and will visit you in return. 
 
 
 
 
 

 

21 comments:

  1. Cynthia, a very interesting story about the mills on the Vermillion River.King Midas flour is a fantastic name for product definitely connect with Greek King.

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  2. Great photos and a very interesting area. I look forward to seeing some spring flowers when they come out.

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  3. King Midas Flour was new to me until a fellow blogger mentioned it recently. We don't have it in Canada as far as I know.
    Great photos.

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  4. What a great stone mill ~ sad that it had to burn ~ but great photos and wonderful historical post ~ xoxo

    artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

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  5. The remnants of the mill in your first photos do indeed look like castle remnants. It gives a wonderful place to walk.

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  6. What great places - I love to see old buildings and ruins like these.

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  7. Oh, I love the old water powered mills.

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  8. What an Interesting post... sad that it was closed but the water is powerful and the old building is beautiful!

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  9. Lovely, I like the old stone buildings, it always amazes me how they actually built them in the first place x

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  10. There is something timeless about those waterside mills- all that throughput of water over so many years. It's good to see the old buiding is still there amongst the new. An interesting place for a 3 mile hike.

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  11. That looks a lovely place for a walk,I bet the noise of the river running down sound good.

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  12. I would have picked that as somewhere in the north of England! Somehow I find these "industrial" ruins a more interesting that many more ancient ones.

    Nice post.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  13. Wow...what a trip...what a tour!!! Awesome.

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  14. the older I get the more interested I am in history. Old buildings are so interesting to ramble around in. Thank you for the tour. I look forward to seeing your spring flowers. Happy travels and thank you for stopping by my blog today.

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  15. Oh, I love old mills. What a beautiful place! Reading your posts is like getting a history class, free! Thanks!

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  16. What a nice place and old building !

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  17. Thank you for the history and mini tour... love learning and seeing historical sites in the US, who is always considered such a young country compared to Europe. True... but still this young country is rich with its own "ruins" and stories :)

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  18. what awesome old ruins and thanks for the history!

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  19. Thanks for the historic tour -- I love visiting places like that!

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  20. I wonder if it was an accident that it burned the day it was closed? Interesting for sure! I am interested in seeing what wildflowers you will find..any day now it should warm up...I hope:)

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