On the auction flyer, it was described as a “half-million bushel grain storage facility with railroad access”.
To people in the area, it’s just the old North Redwood farmers elevator.
According to local historian Gary Revier, the oldest parts of the current structure date back 80 years, after the original elevator on that spot burned down circa 1933.
The North Redwood Farmers Elevator was organized in June, 1914 by John A Malacek, John Schweinfurter, Joseph Keefe, and Charles Fleischer.
It started off with $10,000 capital, used to build a frame building holding 30,000 bushels.
During its first year, the farmers elevator sold 100,000 bushels, and sold 16 train cars’ worth of coal.
Over the decades, as the main crop in the area changed from wheat to corn and soybeans, as technology changed, as owners came and went, the elevator changed as well.
Look at the sides of the elevator, and you can spot at least three names the complex went under as ownership changed.
Most recently it was known as the Redwood Valley Coop Elevator, North Redwood Division.
The complex is made up of bits and pieces added up over the years. For example, the flyer lists grain bins built in 1992, or 1987.
In 1986, the North Redwood Farmers Elevator built 165,000 and 110,000 bushel storage bins, bringing the total capacity to 660,000 bushels.
The grain dryers were added in 1968 and 1983.
Finally, one of the last working wooden grain elevators in Minnesota reached the end of its life.
The auction to sell it off was held Thursday, April 4, with bidders having a choice of whether to buy the entire property, or bits and pieces.
When demolition crews arrived on Wednesday morning, a foreman said, “The parts were all bought by different people, so this (the demolition) is going to be going on all summer....”