#1 Mill City Museum

#1 of 52 Must See Things in Minneapolis.

Take a ride back in time at the Mill City Museum. The ruins of what was once the world’s largest flour mill have been turned into an exploratory venture into the flour industry, the city of Minneapolis and the Mississippi river. 

The flour milling industry in Minneapolis was huge in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Grain came in via the railway, and St. Anthony Falls was used to generate water power. The Washburn A Mill was built after a fatal flour dust explosion took out the previous milling facility. The new A Mill building was incredibly advanced at the time, allowing for production of nearly 12 million loaves of bread per day. With its progressive milling capabilities and unbeatable production, Minneapolis became known as the “Flour Milling Capital of the World” and was referred to as “Mill City” for nearly 50 years.

Eventually the technology became outdated and the need for this milling facility no longer existed. The building was shut down in 1965, leaving it vacant and unused. In 1992, a fire nearly took the building down, leaving only a shell of the historic facility. In 2003, Mill City Museum opened in a structure built into the ruins of the A Mill building.

The museum offers the chance to take a look at the milling industry and the impact it had on the city. Today, visitors can explore the rich history and participate in the storytelling of this part of Minneapolis. Witness baking demonstrations, sample fresh bread, observe a model mill explosion, get an amazing view of St. Anthony Falls and the Stone Arch Bridge, experience the Flour Tower, and while you’re there be sure to watch “Minneapolis in 19 Minutes Flat!”

Check out Mill City Museum’s website to learn more or simply head over to the museum located at 704 S. 2nd St. This is truly a Minneapolis icon that you don’t want to miss!