Mill City Museum; Minneapolis MN

Mill City Museum; Minneapolis MN


(happy music) Voiceover: The Mill City
Museum in downtown Minneapolis is a fascinating place to visit. The museum tells the story of the history of milling in Minneapolis
St. Paul and the companies that rose to prominence. Visitors will experience
interactive rooms, historical interpreters, and other treats. Plan on a full morning to see it all. Male worker: It was
great just like, I still can’t believe it myself. [unintelligible] Laura: We’re standing in
Mill City Museum, in what was once the largest flour mill in the world. When it was built in 1880, it
was the largest flour mill. From 1880 to 1930, Minneapolis
was the flour milling capitol of the world, and
this flour mill continued to function until 1965. You have the two companies,
the Washburn A mill, Pillsbury mill across the
river, and here they’re both producing flour on a massive scale. This mill was once the largest
flour mill in the world, and then the Pillsbury A mill was. So this is what made Minneapolis the milling capitol of the world. (indistinct announcers in background) Laura: The building
closed as a flour mill and in 1991 there was a huge
fire that burned through the building, destroying
all the original equipment. And in 2003, this opened
as Mill City Museum with a brand new building,
built inside the ruin walls. The explosive history
of this site is that the first Washburn A mill
which was built in 1874 was destroyed by a huge
flour dust explosion in 1878. Marty: I’m going to
reproduce an event that actually occurred here back in 1878. It was the explosion
of the Washbun A mill. It’s quite likely with
the actual explosion that the ignition source was a machine. I have a nice jar of flour dust here. Put a nice heaping teaspoon
of material in here. We’re going to get this dust mobile. And in order to do that, I am going to use this trusty bicycle pump here and get that flour dust moving around in that mill. Let’s try it here. One, two, three, go! (small explosion) Laura: We’re part of the
Minnesota Historical Society so it was the Minnesota
Historical Society’s exhibit team and department that
worked on the exhibits here. And they explore a number
of different things. One of the big stories
that we tell here is the story of promotion and advertising. You have General Mills here,
Pillsbury across the river, they’re both making the same product. How do they both consumer
and brand loyalty. So that’s a big story. And you’ll see our
giant Bisquick box which kind of anchors that area. We also tell the story
of the wheat fields in the Red River valley that
supplied a lot of the wheat that was milled here. And history player Mary
Dodge Woodward is one of the ways that we tell that story as well. Wini: April third. When the sun shines,
such a steam arises from the ground, that the prairie
looks like an ocean with waves. One cannot make out objects at a distance. The country is alive with
teams seeding and dragging. Laura: We have a large number
of school and youth groups that come through here every
year, about 35 to 40 thousand. And they experience all
facets of the museum. We have an interactive
water lab where people can discover changes that
were made to the river in order to power the mills. Patrick: The key to the
whole thing is not to let the water go down the waterfall. So what they did was
build a three-sided dam, and that actually raises the
water up a little bit more, and then drives it to
the side, where you can run it through machines. Laura: We have a baking lab where all sorts of things take place. Our staff will talk to
folks about test kitchens, wheat and flour. David: Hard wheat and
soft wheat are turned into the bread four and the cake
flour, and then we have our all-purpose flour,
which is generally a blend of bread and cake flour. Laura: We also have a show
called the Flour Tower where you ride between
seven floors of the museum, each one designed to look
like a different floor of a working flour mill
and hear the voices of people that actually worked here. Female worker: They were just young kids. They wanted to work on the
same place all the time. They brought boyfriends in, too. Laura: There is a meet
the machines exhibit, which is flour milling equipment
from the Pillsbury mill across the river, and the Albany mill, and other places as well. You will also see history
players, people portraying people from Mill City’s
past, and get to enjoy stunning views from our observation deck. Wini: Oh, is it any wonder
that it frightens the animals! I never thought I would see the day where work was done by the
power of machines rather than by horses. Laura: I think for some people, this is their starting point,
the go-to for Minneapolis history, but also regional
stories and stories of how this place changed the way we eat. Male worker: [unintelligible] Oh, I’m all worn out today, she said. Why, I had trouble at the mill last night. I think it’s something you never forget. Voiceover: Prairie Mosaic is funded by the Minnesota Arts and
Cultural Heritage Fund with money from the vote
of the people of Minnesota on November fourth, 2008, the North Dakota Humanities
Council, a nonprofit, independent state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the North Dakota Council on the Arts, and by the members of Prairie Public.

12 Comments

  • Turtle Tom says:

    I love this place!

  • Gymnaskills3 says:

    I love it here I went with my class today and I love the flower tower!!!!

  • Pilotsnow 15 says:

    the view is amazing

  • Tyler Rapp says:

    i watching this in 2017. is any on doing it,plz comment

  • RACINGFISHINGDUD DUDE says:

    This was the best field trip ever

  • Bizzare Ricky says:

    ive been here in 3rd grade it was so cool for a field trip

  • Bizzare Ricky says:

    every single time i go by i get so emotional ause all my friends moved

  • Sophie Chang says:

    I went there today and its awesome hopefully it lives till I'm a grown up I also went with my class its awesome people awesome

  • ItIsJøsh 2 says:

    Flower tower.
    That one my friend got scared from the explosion.

    I laughed so hard.

    Edit:when it moves tho.
    It feels scary.

  • Jayden Fisher says:

    When I was young,maybe 5 to 7 years old,I always wondered about the state I was in(Minnesota). I was going to the Y in downtown Minneapolis since I was too little to have a babysitter. I was with my mom since her work was in downtown Minneapolis too. I saw a giant sign and it said Gold Metal Flour. I was very curious on what it was but when I saw the destroyed part,I got more interested to it. I asked my mom I want to go there,next week we went there. My first time was my best memory to learn more about our state and history,I will never forget that time and will keep coming to this same location to see my childhood memories and remember the History of Minnesota,Washburn A Mill.

  • Pastel lovers Vlog says:

    Ok so um this place is hunted for sure I got a privet Tour and got to go into areas off limits and the vibe you get in that area is very abnormal. And one of the elevators in the old days killed someone that is now the boys bathroom I took photos and there where orbs. And what I won’t forget is the person giving the tour said that there where homeless people who passed and the place didn’t know till the smell came across. Some of the area is not all checked out who knows what is there.

  • Liz Morales says:

    This looks like a pretty good place!

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