Saturday, May 12, 2018

General Mills/Railto Flour Mill

3D Satellite
This was the Railto elevator. Note the laker barge docked along side the elevator. Looking at Google Earth, I see the change to large Laker barges occurring in 2009.

The Railto Flour Mill was built in 1902. (from search results) The General Mills plant was added south of the slip c1915 and connected to the elevator with a conveyor. Comments on a Facebook posting indicate GM made flour, cereals, cake mixes, and pie crusts. They also had a big warehouse operation.
Bob Lalich commented on a posting
The flour mill was south of the slip, next to the main factory building. It was connected to the Rialto elevator by a conveyor over the slip. There were a few silos on the south side of the slip next to the flour mill. Is that where your special assignment took place? This 1970s photo is from the old SCHS web site.
Bob Lalich Dennis DeBruler-General Mills was served by the BRC. At one time, the Rock Island had rights to switch the Rialto elevator but I don't recall seeing such moves. The BRC still owns the tracks in the vicinity.
Larry Grzywinski It was the Calumet Western (PRR). The SC&S (PRR) was on the east side of the river. For those who don't know, the SC&S was South Chicago and Southern.
Larry Grzywinski The Calumet Western (PRR) was on the west side of the river. The SC&S (PRR) was east of the river. For those who don't know, the SC&S was South Chicago and Southern, it was a connecting line that ran from the PCC&StL in Lansing,ILL (Bernice) and the PFW&C in Chicago (Cole Hour Junction). There was also a third rail line that serviced the mills and industries along the east side of the river called Calumet River Railway or River Line. All of them were once owned by the Pennsylvania Railroad.

Bob Lalich I worked at General Mills one summer during college. My aunt worked in the packing department for a long time. The elevator was commonly referred to as the Rialto elevator.
Mike KempMike and 116 others joined Southeast Chicago Historical Society within the last two weeks. Give them a warm welcome into your community! I remember at the end of the second summer I worked there being given a "special assignment" with other soon - to-return-to-school summer hires to "clean up the flour mill" (the building on top of those grain elevators). After passing through a whole series of big, thick fire doors (scary) we each were given a broom and a shovel and told to start cleaning. It was somewhat of a exercise in futility as one would clean up a patch of floor only to turn around and see a layer of fresh flour on the floor just cleaned. I think it was the Big G way of sending us back to the ivory towers... "okay, study hard so you don't have to come back here and do this again next year."
Rod SellersRod manages the membership, moderators, settings, and posts for Southeast Chicago Historical Society. General Mills SC Plant info here: [Specifically]
Also note Photos #63 (Rialto before 1915) and #65 (2004 aerial after the GM plant had been torn down) in SEsideIndustrialHistory,

Looking at Google Earth, I see that rail service was already removed by 1998. In 1938 there was plenty of rail service. The above photo shows the expansion of the warehouse that happened in the 1960s and that the BRC rail service still existed in the 1970s.

1938 Aerial Photo from ILHAP
This images shows that above image is an example of an artist adding smoke because that was considered a symbol of prosperity in the late 19th Century.
Dwayne Stegner posted
Rialto Elevators and Crescent Mills. South Chicago, formerly General Mills. 1909 postcard.
Dennis Conklin Can still remember the smell of those Cheerios cooking.

John DeWit Woodlock II posted
BRC 511,505 @ 100th Street Yard-Chicago,IL 19 APR 97
[The cow and calf unit must be at the south end of the yard.]
John DeWit Woodlock II It was indeed located at the south end of the yard, not quite as far as 104th Street if I remember correctly.
Street View
John DeWit Woodlock II posted
BRC 604,600 @ 100th Street Yard-Chicago,IL 18 APR 97. My apologies for the soft focus.
[A view of the north side of the elevator.]

Evie N Bob Bruns posted
BRC 501-511 at South Chicago switching General Foods 12/13/1986.

Rick Kubic posted
[There are a lot of comments about the good smells and who worked there. They made cereals at this plant.]

Ken Wontor commented on Rick's post
My dad Joe Wontor (Swabby) worked there and retired with over 20 years from there. He ran the palletizer in the warehouse. I worked for 4 summers between college as a “A” loader. Great memories and many friends.

Toad Brajkovich posted

Rod Sellers commented on Toad's post
Definitely General Mills. 2 buildings in your photo are to the left.

William Dmytriw commented on Toad's post
Those are the silo's across the slip from Gen. Mills which supply the grain via conveyers to the plant to make cereal but were owned by Rialto.

David Daruszka commented on Toad's post

2012 uploaded Flickr,  "This was once a General Mills Cereal Plant. 1922-1995."

They did an expansion as recently as 1991.

Pullman Museum holdings Of particular notes: 1920s and 30s; 1940s and 50s; 1990s; site plant and statistics

This plant made cereals as well as flour.

1 comment:

  1. It was a sad day in South Chicago when GMI closed its doors in 1995.
    Especially when after 37 years our pension was cut to $678 per month.