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Carson Roller Mill

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1913. S. Main St., just south of Railroad Ave.
  • (Photograph by Steve C. Martens)

Roller flour mills were a common feature of the initial settlement period in the state, but most of the mill buildings and equipment have been lost through demolition, fire, or incorporation into grain elevator complexes. The Carson Roller Mill is the only known intact roller mill in North Dakota remaining essentially unaltered and still containing its original equipment. The invention of roller milling machinery capable of breaking the hard hulls of red Durham wheat is attributed to a German Russian or Ukrainian immigrant. This invention was so important that it led to widespread wheat monoculture on the North Dakota prairie, as well as to the important milling industry in Minneapolis. This mill was built in 1913 by a group of Carson residents led by Richard Mott, a prominent regional promoter. The market was primarily local until a railroad spur was connected to the mill, which soon was operating around the clock and producing forty-five barrels of Wild Rose Flour each day. By 1918, the mill was also shipping its products to outlets in Boston and Minneapolis.

The Carson mill is a three-story wood-frame industrial building with gabled, shed, and hipped roofs. The main structure is rectangular in form, with a shed-roofed grain receiving area attached along one side and a basement engine room on the west end. Simple one-over-one double-hung windows were placed to illuminate the main interior work areas. In 1922, a hipped-roof storage addition was constructed on the east end of the building. The exterior walls are sheathed in stamped-sheet-metal siding, and the roofs are covered with composite asphalt shingles over the original wood shingles.

Writing Credits

Steve C. Martens and Ronald H. L. M. Ramsay



Steve C. Martens and Ronald H. L. M. Ramsay, "Carson Roller Mill", [Carson, North Dakota], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of North Dakota

Buildings of North Dakota, Steve C. Martens and Ronald H. L. M. Ramsay. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2015, 184-185.

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