Visiting the Mill City Museum in Minneapolis, Minnesota

by Janis on July 30, 2016

View of Upper Mississippi River from the Mill City Museum in Minneapolis.

Today in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota, we walked along the river front of the Upper Mississippi River, passing by the Saint Anthony Falls, which was the only major natural waterfall on the river.

The natural falls were channeled into a concrete spillway, and their water power helped Minneapolis become the “Flour Milling Capital of the World” between 1880 and 1930.

Mill City Museum, MinneapolisWe visited the Mill City Museum, which is built within the ruins of the Washburn A Mill, the world’s largest and most technologically advanced flour mill when it was completed in 1880. Millers at this complex owned by Washburn-Crosby Company (the forerunner of General Mills) perfected a revolutionary process for milling that made white flour available to the masses.

Bisquick display, Mill City Museum, Minneapolis, MinnesotaIn the museum’s gallery, you can view vintage advertising for flour products, see 19th-century flour milling equipment and trace the journey of wheat from farms on the surrounding plains to market.

There’s also a water labs you can learn how water power from St. Anthony Falls made Minneapolis the ideal Mill City.

rooftop observation deck, Mill City Museum, MinneapolisOne of the museum’s highlights is the Flour Tower elevator show that transports you through eight levels of the mill, as it would have been found during its heyday.

View from the observation deck of the Mill City Museum in Minneapolis, MinnesotaThis tour includes a visit to the rooftop observation deck which offers unbeatable views of the Mississippi River and St. Anthony Falls.

The Mill City Museum is run by the Minnesota Historical Society. It is open 7 days a week in July and August, and every day except Monday the rest of the year. We found the museum an interesting way to learn about Minneapolis history, and cool off during a hot and humid July day.

What’s your favorite attraction to visit in Minneapolis, Minnesota? 

Resources to learn more about Minneapolis:

Walking Twin Cities: 34 Tours Exploring Historic Neighborhoods, Lakeside Parks, Gangster Hideouts, Dive Bars, and Cultural Centers

Downtown: Minneapolis in the 1970s

Minneapolis in the Twentieth Century: The Growth of an American City

Check out these other museum visits:

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