Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Great Historical Loss in Freeport, Minnesota

As I was scrolling through my regular glut of news items in Google Reader today, I noticed something about the Swany Flour Mill in Freeport, Minnesota. Freeport is about 15 miles down the road, west of Collegeville. Since I began school, I've traveled regularly to Freeport to have my truck serviced.

As I looked closer at the news story, I learned with great dismay that that the Swany Four Mill had burned to the ground yesterday. I was just in Freeport about a week ago, and I found myself looking at the mill building and thinking to myself "I should photograph this place come spring." I really should have gotten around to it sooner.

I'm not a Freeport resident, nor even a Minnesota native, but I realize how significant this landmark was, architecturally, historically, and as a thriving business in a rural community. I'm not sure what there is to do now - the building is gone, nothing is salvageable, and it will not reopen. I suppose for both the lifelong local and the casual passerby, there's nothing to do but remember and reminisce.

Below are a compilation of news articles relating to the mill and the fire:

Swany White Mill: A history
SLIDESHOW: Historic Freeport Flour Mill
Fire destroys iconic Freeport flour mill (with video)
Fire destroys flour mill in Freeport (with video)
Fire Devastates Historic Freeport Flour Company (with video)
Century-Old Mill Destroyed by Fire in Freeport (with video)
Freeport flour mill fire probe begins
Flour mill fire probe begins in Freeport (with video)
Investigation begins into cause of Swany White flour mill in Freeport
Flour mill fire was one of biggest for small fire departments
Freeport mourns loss of landmark flour mill
Old mill won't be rising again

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