The Mill City Museum is housed in one of the original flour mills built along the shores of the Mississippi in Minneapolis. The building was named the Washburn A Mill and opened in 1874. The mill exploded four years later due to bad ventilation, claiming 18 lives. The owners completed a new Washburn A Mill and continued operations in 1880. It was the largest and most technologically advanced mill in the world. The mill could grind enough flour in one day to make 12 million loaves of bread.
The Minneapolis milling industry began to decline in the 1920s although The Washburn A Mill continued production until 1965. The building was heavily damaged by fire in 1991. The city cleaned up the wreckage, preserved some of the orginal architecture, and built the Mill City Museum inside the ruins. This unique structure gives visitors a sense of history and progress.
The museum offers a variety of programs and exhibits that help visitors understand the history of the milling industry and the impact it had on the city of Minneapolis. The activites at the museum are meant to involve visitors of all ages. The building's design gives the visitors a bird's eye view of the the Mississippi River and St. Anthony Falls. These resources were sources of power that helped sustain the milling industry in Minneapolis during its heyday.
The many activities the museum has to offer range from walking tours to media shows like the Flour Tower to hands-on exhibits. Programs include the Baking Lab where visitors grind wheat, bake bread, perform experiments and pack up food.
Official Great River Road Interpretive Center
The Great River Road National Scenic Byway follows the course of the Mississippi River for 3,000 miles from northern Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico. The scenic route passes through 10 states and hundreds of river towns. Learn more >