Mill City Museum. Museum in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Mill City Museum

Museum in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Mill City Museum (In Living Color!) Photo © Joe D

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Mill City Museum

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The Mill City Museum is a fascinating museum in Minneapolis, Minnesota that is run by the Minnesota Historical Society. It is located in the ruins of the Washburn A Mill, which was once the world’s largest flour mill, on the banks of the Mississippi River (Wikipedia Article). It features numerous exhibits related to the history of Minneapolis, with a special focus on the local importance of the river and the flour industry that its falls helped to power. If you’re interested in learning more about the fascinating history of one of the most important cities in the Midwest, this is a must-visit attraction.

History

The Mill City Museum is located in the ruins of the Washburn A Mill, which was constructed in 1874. However, the original building was destroyed by a flour dust explosion that destroyed many businesses along the Mississippi riverfront in the late 1800s. In 1880, the mill was rebuilt with newer and safer machinery that allowed it to produce higher quality flour, making it the largest as well as the most technologically advanced mill in the entire world.

At its peak, the mill is thought to have ground enough flour in one day to make an astonishing 12 million loaves of bread. Eventually, the mill became obsolete due to technological advances, and was closed in 1965. In the late 1990s, the city restored parts of the building, and the Minnesota Historical Society created the museum that you can visit today in order to learn all about the history of Minneapolis.

Attractions

There’s plenty to see when you visit the Mill City Museum, including informative exhibits, a multimedia show, live demonstrations, a film, and amazing views of the Mississippi River.

Flour Tower

Flour Tower is an 8-story multimedia show and elevator ride that teaches visitors all about the history of the Washburn A Mill, which was once the world’s largest flour mill. The tour allows visitors to travel using a freight elevator to various floors of the building, which are all designed to look like actual floors of a working flour mill and feature audio recordings of people who once worked in the mill. On the 8th floor, interpreters also provide demonstrations of some of the equipment. You can also see a demonstration of the A Mill explosion in 1878 which destroyed many local businesses, and learn about how it was caused by flour dust.

Minneapolis in 19 Minutes Flat

One of the highlights of the museum is the film “Minneapolis in 19 Minutes Flat”, which is a lighthearted tour of the city and its history that was written by and stars local humorist Kevin Kling. It features film and television footage, animations, photos, and personal stories that introduce visitors to the beauty of Minneapolis. It also focuses on important historic figures such as Father Hennepin and Franklin Steele (Wikipedia
	Article), as well as more recent famous people associated with Minneapolis, such as the Andrews Sisters and Prince. If you like to laugh, it’s well worth a watch.

Exhibit Gallery

As one of the 26 sites managed by the Minnesota Historical Society, the Mill City Museum features a number of exhibits related to local history. While most exhibits at the Mill City Museum focus on the history of Minneapolis and its flour milling industry, other exhibits focus on various topics related to the culture and history of the area.

Observation Deck

You won’t want to miss the 9th floor observation deck, which provides some of the most spectacular panoramic views of Saint Anthony Falls and the Mississippi River in the entire city.

Baking Lab

Another highlight of any tour of the Mill City Museum is the Baking Lab, where you can view live demonstrations and taste some delicious fresh bread.

Courtyard

If you’re interested in architecture, you’ll want to spend some time in the beautiful courtyard, which features the original brick and limestone walls of the mill that remain from a 1991 fire.

Mill City Café

The museum also contains the Mill City Café, which sells snacks and drinks in case you get hungry during your visit.

Practical Information

Here’s everything you need to know in order to plan your visit to the Mill City Museum:

Address: 704 S 2nd St, Minneapolis, MN 55401

Hours: The Mill City Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 until 17:00 and Sundays from 12:00 until 17:00. It is also open on Mondays in July and August.

Prices: Admission to the museum costs approximately $ 11 USD for adults, $ 9.00 USD for students and seniors, $ 6.00 USD for children between the ages of 6 and 17, and is free for children 5 and under.

Similar Landmarks

The Minnesota Historical Society also manages 25 other fascinating sites throughout the state, including the Birch Coulee Battlefield (Wikipedia Article), Historic Fort Snelling, the James J. Hill House, the Jeffers Petroglyphs, and the Minnesota State Capitol. Other nearby attractions in the Twin Cities include Saint Anthony Falls, Minnehaha Park, and the Mall of America.

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Author: ehuttner. Last updated: Jun 30, 2015

Pictures of Mill City Museum

Mill City Museum, Minneapolis, Minnesota - Mill City Museum
Mill City Museum, Minneapolis, Minnesota - Photo by Uncommon Fritillary

Pillsbury Memorabilia - Mill City Museum
Pillsbury Memorabilia - Mill City Museum. Photo by Paul Weimer

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