Mill City Museum


Engineers first harnessed the power of the St. Anthony Falls to run sawmills, and, from 1848 to 1887, Minneapolis led the nation in saw milling. Soon, however, the falls also powered flour mills, and from 1880 to 1930, Minneapolis was known as the Flour Milling Capital of the World. The mill in which the museum is located opened in 1880 and at that time was the largest, most technologically advanced flour mill in the world. At peak production, the mill ground enough flour to make 12 million loaves of bread a day. Named a National Historic Landmark in 1983, the mill went up in flames in 1991. This award-winning museum is built in the ruins.

Activity Details

Activity Type:Trips and Destinations
Discipline:Agricultural & Biological, Industrial & Manufacturing
Topic(s):Technology/Materials
Grade:K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
Time:Full day

Fun Fact:The mill's chief engineer, William de la Barre, engaged in industrial spying. While working full-time at a competing mill in Budapest, he made sketches of milling equipment that he saw there, which he later applied in the Minneapolis mill. He also trained workers on milling techniques he witnessed on trips to Budapest, Prague, Paris, and Vienna.
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