From Wheat To Flour
Minnesota's wheat empire lasted for about a century and reshaped the state's landscape and economy around producing wheat and flour. Beginning in the late 1800s, small pioneer farms in the southeast planted the state's first wheat farms. Soon wheat farming expanded to include the large bonanza farms of the Red River Valley. The water and mills of Minneapolis were crucial to the development of wheat production in Minnesota since they allowed the farmers to grind their wheat into flour. St. Anthony Falls and the flour mills that grew up around the falls were strongly intertwined; the mills required the power provided by the falls to grind their wheat. By the early 1900s, both the state's wheat and the Mill City's flour production were in decline, and by the 1950s, the production had dwindled to almost nothing. Although Minnesota is no longer a leading wheat producer, its legacy lives on in Minneapolis, a city once famous for its flour.