The Ruins of Washburn A Mill, Minneapolis

The tasteful ruins on the banks of the Mississippi River from which rises the Minneapolis’ Mill City Museum serves as a reminder to the site’s dramatic history.

The site was the location of Minneapolis' largest industrial building and the largest mill in the world. The Washburn A Mill was built in 1874 by Cadwallader Washburn, a businessman from LaCrosse, Wisconsin. The building was seven story tall, and housed a flour mill powered by the flowing waters of the Mississippi River, which was diverted through a canal to turn giant waterwheels located fifty feet below street level. With 200 workers the Washburn’s mill was one of the city’s largest employers.

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Washburn A Mill

The ruins of Washburn A Mill now houses the Mill City Museum. Image credit: Ali Eminov/Flickr


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