THE PEAVEY-HAGLIN GRAIN ELEVATOR
The Peavey-Haglin Elevator (now used to
advertise Nordic Ware) is the last remnant of the St Louis
Park industrial era. Prior to 1899, all grain elevators were
squarish wooden structures. Frank Peavey and Charles Haglin,
a trained architect and builder, decided to build a tubular
elevator of solid concrete as an experiment to learn if it
was practical to store grain in a concrete structure of this
shape. It had not been done before and it was thought that
it might explore or at least crack when grain was drawn off.
For construction, round forms were built with steel rings
for braces and concrete poured into these forms. When me
concrete had set, the forms were pulled up and another layer
poured. It was twenty feet in diameter and in 1899, was
built to a height of sixty eight feet. At the bottom, the
walls were twelve inches thick tapering to eight inches at
the top. Using a bucket elevator, the tube was filled with
grain harvested in 1899. The grain was left through the
In the spring, the grain was tested, found to be in excellent shape and had fewer rodent and insect problems. When they pulled the lever to let the grain out, the spectators stood well clear but the grain began to flow out and the elevator remained intact. This tower was eventually built to a height of one hundred and twenty five feet but never used for grain storage again. Nevertheless, it set the standard for elevator design and construction. It dramatically changed grain storage and handling. Peavey and Haglin immediately started work on a terminal in Duluth with 53 silos, one hundred and ten feet tall and 33 feet across. Peavey went on to utilize this elevator design to build a prosperous grain company. St Louis Park was the home of several of this type of elevator including the Commander Elevator which continued in operation until the late 1970's. The Peavey-Haglin Elevator is St Louis Park's second listing in the National Register of Historic Places along with the Historic Depot.
This information comes from a variety of sources: newspapers, books, yearbooks, phone directories, interviews, etc. Given the varied sources, we cannot guarantee that all of this information is correct, and welcome any additions and corrections. Please contact us with your contributions and comments.