Driving north from Pierre, I continued on my journey toward North Dakota. I crossed a lot of rich farmland interspersed with rolling, grassy wilderness. Small towns were few and far between, but generally delighted me, with their blend of new and old. A lot, I just appreciated as I drove past, but I couldn’t resist photographing these two buildings in far northern South Dakota.
The first is a wonderful, old grain elevator. The style is similar to that of the Hawes Grain Elevator Museum in Illinois, about which I posted earlier, but the size is considerably greater. You can see the “downspouts” on the side that permit unloading grain into transport trucks.
Across the street was a shop that reminded me that in rural areas, the separation between farm and food supply is not as great as it is in urban areas. Here, you can shop and get your meat processed.
This 1904 grain elevator in Atlanta, Illinois, has been turned into a wonderful museum that lets you explore an earlier version of the grain elevator-railroad combination. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it is the only fully restored wooden grain elevator in Illinois.
Corn would be brought to the elevator by horse-drawn wagon, and the wagon loaded with corn would be weighed and then pulled by the horses into the grain elevator. Inside, a clever device opened a trap door and tilted the wagon, dumping all the corn into the bin revealed by the open trap door.
A friend from Bloomington/Normal had joined me for the visit to the museum. The two of us had the place to ourselves, which offered us the advantage of having the docent’s undivided attention, so we were able to ask a lot of questions.
If you find yourself in central Illinois and want to visit this delightful museum, here is their website, with information on hours and location, as well as where to get a good piece of pie while you’re in town: J.D. Hawes Grain Elevator Museum.