Gold Medal Flour sign

For some 50 years, Minneapolis was the world center of the flour milling industry with some of the largest producing mills the world has ever seen. Fueled by St. Anthony Falls,  the only water fall on the Mississippi, and pulling in wheat via the railroads from all over the northern plains, the area was once a loud and dusty place. New technical developments in the last 1800s also meant much more efficient operations. The mills in Minneapolis also put white flour, then thought to be more healthy than the widely available whole wheat flour, into the reach of most Americans who previously could not afford it.

Flour milling has long since moved elsewhere, especially with the advent of electrically driven mills, but the mill district continues to live on with other purposes, including condos, restaurants, the Guthrie Theater, and the Minnesota Historical Society’s Mill City Museum.

Mill City Museum

Gallery: Minneapolis Mill District