Sunday, January 29, 2023

Industry Profile: Concordia Milling Company

In my Pyrrhic pursuit of the Walthers Red Wing Milling Co. flour mill, I occasionally come across prototype structures that fill the mill bill. In my Pinterest account (see sidebar) I've amassed 260+ photos in my 'Favourite HO Scale Structures to Work With' board. The vast majority of these are the aforementioned Walthers kit. (There's also a smattering of Revell Superior Bakery and Atlas structure photos in there.) I've previously published a post showcasing the creativity of those who have built or kitbashed this iconic concrete cairn of trackside treasure. I have not done neither, nor do I have any plans to do so. Sorry if this sounds like I'm going against the grain! Or, to paraphrase that dreamy movie's title, "Wheat Dreams May Come".
But that doesn't mean I don't enjoy a half-baked stumble into the flour mill sphere, and when I found this example in Concordia, Kansas I immediately surfed over to Googlemaps to see it (above and below). The large silos, storage and milling floors are arranged like stair-steps, in what must have been a standard small mill stacking. The mill is still in use, (perhaps even flour-ishing!) but not rail-served any longer.
On a side venture into the flour world, the daily grind took me into the world of vintage postcards. Apparently, even flour mills were genuine grist-for-the-mill for early-century postcard purveyors. The views in this post are mostly postcards, dated from 1900 to 1920. Some have been colourized.
The above view includes old-timey cars and trees.
Oh yes we are. The windows are open and loading dock in use in this colourized view:
A spooky night-time view;
Similar to the top colourized view is this sepia-toned one:
This vintage advertising is from an era before the meaning of PPP as Public-Private-Partnership!
A sample of the mill's products:
If I ever switch my modelled locale away from Kingston, a mid-West granger road might result. Goodness knows I have the covered hopper cars for it, and now, a vintage prototype plausibly rail-served.

Running extra...

The Amherst/Springfield MA Railroad Hobby Show is baaacck. I can't imagine the potential purchase price of all the models on display by manufacturers*. All this in a 'dying hobby'. The only thing I see dying is the affordability angle. One has to have a sharp eye for bargains. Locomotives at $300 and up, freight cars at $65 and up? Really? My sharp eye blinked this past week when the online seller of a too-large collection of bargain-priced vehicles got chippy and couldn't handle the influx of interest. It was not the Art of the Deal. *Breaking News: Atlas announces CN Pointe St Charles caboose!

I gave two enjoyable ZOOM presentations for the Canadian Association of Railway Modellers this past week, "Kingston's Hanley Spur - What Makes My Layout Unique?" Time for questions:
Six years ago today, I predicted the downfall of a certain Art of the Dealmaker. Said his presidency would end in a courtroom. Courting disgrace - a legacy of disgrace. I think I'm on track to be right. 


Michael said...

Spoiler alert! Eric is going to model a heartland railroad next! We have an old mill like this in the area of the old Ottawa West station near Little Italy and Chinatown, located on the old CP Ellwood Sub, now the O-Train Trillium Line. It reminds me a lot of this structure. Up until recently, there was still a retail bakery in the building, tucked away in the middle of an older neighbourhood. There was also, weirdly, an indie women's clothing store along the lines of La Senza as well. It is now home to artisan workshops and related boutique retailers, I believe.

Eric said...

I really like Little Italy, Michael. The banquet hall where I gave an OVAR presentation is there, and my son and daughter-in-law went to a wedding reception at the former 'CN bank'. I did a bit of research and found that it was a railway-heavy area and also lumbering. As you mentioned, Ottawa West. Perhaps my new layout iteration could be called the Glebe, Granger & Little Italy Railway?

Thanks for your comment,