The Porter History Library


Porter Elevator Fire

March 27, 2011

Porter's tallest building, standing prominently for over 100 years was reduced to rubble in the matter of hours.

Smoke was reported to be seen coming out of the Porter Elevator Feed Mill between 6:30 and 6:45 AM on Sunday, March 27, 2011. By 7:00 AM the Elevator was completely engulfed in flames.

Fire Departments from Porter, Canby, St. Leo, Taunton and Marshall responded to prevent the blaze from spreading. The last standing "classic" elevator building in Porter (seen in the banner of this website) was reduced to rubble by 8:30 AM.

At the end of the day the old Porter Elevator Feed Mill was completely destroyed. With it the Elevator's Feed Truck, which was stored in the elevator, was also a complete loss.

Porter was home to three traditional prairie grain elevators at one time playing a critical role in the growth of the community and getting area farmers' grain to market via the St. Peter and Winona Railway.

The last remaining traditional elevator in Porter was still in use and operating as a feed mill, not far from it's original purpose when built over 100 years ago. Originally known as the "Eagle" or "West" Elevator and Mill it is estimated that the original, tallest, part of the structure was built before 1905. It is believed that the well known "Porter's South Side" photograph from the 1890's was taken from atop for "Eagle Elevator". The Mill is shown in a photograph of the Porter Depot dated 1914 that appeared in the Porter Centennial newspaper. Proudly stated on the mill is "______ Flour For Sale Here" in bright white lettering on the side of the building.

1914

The Porter Elevator Mill Building appears in this 1914 Photograph in the background.

 

Porter Elevators - 1950's

1950's Elevators

The picture above shows two of Porter's three elevators. These two both stood where the Porter elevator is currently. The elevator in the background burned on March 27, 2011. The foreground elevator was demolished in the 1980's to make way for a modern bin and lift system to provide greater loading and unloading speeds and more storage.

Porter Elevator - 2008 (click to enlarge photos)

2008 Elevator from South  2008 Elevator from North

 

Fire - March 27, 2011 (click to enlarge photos)

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Before and After

 Before    After

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