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Thread: Grain elevators

  1. #1
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    Default Grain elevators

    Here are a couple of photos of a derlict grain elevator in the little town of Cambridge, Idaho. According to various web sources this town had 525 residents in 1900 and now has around 375, so I guess it is flirting with ghost town status. In spite of that, it looks pretty lively there, being the gateway to Hells Canyon, except for the old grain elevator. Settlement in the area started around 1880 as it is a nice little valley with lots of water.

    There used to be a RR through town with the grand name of Pacific & Idaho Northern Railway. Apparently it was built by a man named Lewis Hall, who also owned, or controlled the Seven Devils Mines high in the mountains south of the town. I do have one photo of the mine structures, but have found little other information other than it was a copper/gold producer. There is a modern shortline RR in Idaho with the name of Idaho & Pacific Northern Railway, which seems almost too close to be coincidence, but I am still researching that little issue.

    There have been a number of posts lately that show grain elevators in various stages of decay. Maybe the crops have changed, maybe it was the loss of a RR spur, or maybe something else, but those old tin sided structures seem to be fading away all around us.
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    It does seem like the old grain elevators are slowly disappearing. It's sad, but not surprising. Great pictures! At least we have that much.

  3. #3
    campp's Avatar
    campp is offline Rawk Crawlin GPS Totin Ghost Towning Expert
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    Economics have changed, not so much the crops. Small farmers selling locally, with a railroad to transport the crops away is being replaced by giant corporate farming.

    I've started to photograph grainers when I see good ones. Start snapping those pictures folks!

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    This is the one in Boyd, Oregon. There is talk of tearing it down to reclaim the lumber in it.
    Last edited by hamellr; 09-10-2014 at 07:20 AM.
    Pacific Northwest Ghost Town Travel Blog: http://pnwphotoblog.com/ghost-towns/
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    That wooden grain elevator is a beauty and it would be a shame to tear it down. On the other hand it is probably not a historic structure and there is a lot of lumber in it.

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    Tsarevna is offline Rawk Crawlin GPS Totin Ghost Towning Expert
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    To my uneducated eye, mills and grain silos look alike. Sometimes a mill resides within the building. Is there a good way to tell, from the outside, the difference?

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    Wink

    Hmmm, what an interesting question you raise.

    I always thought of a silo as being round and tall and used to store sileage, usually chopped corn, or some other similar crop destined to be fed to cattle, etc. Nowdays the chopped material is usually stored in horizontal concrete structures where a front end loader can move it to the animals. Protection from rain/snow is provided by plastic held down by lots of old tires in many cases. Probably the change in storage is due to the large number of animals at one location.

    Mills usually have an elevator structure of the type pictured here, but also lots of internal piping to transfer grain to machinery to grind or mix it into feed products. The structure in my first picture could have contained a mill, but was most likely a warehouse for storing bagged material.

    I referred to these tin sided structures as grain elevators, but they may be called something else in other regions of the country. Most of the modern ones are of mostly concrete construction and consist of many cylindrical "silos" all linked together and are almost always on a RR line. Now that I use the word "silo" to discuss modern elevators, my first definition sounds a little limited.

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