by Chloe Ellefson, Historic Sites Curator
The Chloe Ellefson Mysteries
by Kathleen Ernst
Maybe it's my Scandinavian blood, but for the most part, I enjoy winter. Still, when the temps dip below zero, I like nothing better than cozying up to a warm fire.
I hope I never take such pleasures for granted. An experience I had last winter taught me a lot about simple blessings.
The Minnesota Historical Society was developing plans to turn an abandoned industrial flour mill in Minneapolis into a museum. A college friend, Ariel, asked me to help out.
The mill has enormous potential as a museum. During my visit, though, it was a frigid, spooky place.
The Washburn A Mill was the largest flour mill in the world when completed in 1874.
Never heard of it? Well, this mill gave us Gold Medal Flour and Betty Crocker. It changed the way flour was produced, and played a big role in the economic development of Minneapolis and beyond.
|The mill in its heyday. The original building burned and was replaced with a more modern complex.|
It didn't stay empty, though. It's a favorite place for kids to party.
|Graffiti left by visitors.|
It's a difficult place to spend time, especially during the winter. It's huge. The abandoned industrial equipment poses all kinds of danger.
It didn't help that during my orientation tour, a body was found stuffed into a piece of machinery. Believe it or not, things just got worse from there.
|Yep, right in one of those chutes where grain once flowed.|
Want to know more? You can read all about it.