Monday, November 16, 2009

Ramsey Mill Ruins Hastings, MN

We discovered this place on a winter trip to Hastings in March of 2008. Really purely by accident as we had no idea it even existed when we decided to hike along the Vermillion River. There were one or two signs with some good historical info as well as older photos of this huge old flour mill. After learning just how old it was -built in 1856 and destroyed in 1894- we were instantly fascinated and trucked down the snowy hillside. It's most unique aspect was immediately evident upon our first glance of the structure. It's remnants are purely massive, towering pillars completely free-standing from one another save for maybe 3 or 4 places where the quarried limestone still clung to horizontal timbers. These short spans gave the only indication of the original structure's appearance with evenly spaced windows at each level. It was as if all the window openings on all four sides collapsed straight downwards from the top, leaving gaping slices in each wall. The effect resembles ancient ruins of Rome or Egypt and is pretty awe inspiring. We were both scared to even touch the remaining walls for fear they might topple down. On one outer wall I noticed the remainder of a steel rod that was likely used as a stabilizer between opposite walls. Funny that even without this, the remaining pillars, except for what must have been the front of the building, are all still standing. They realy must have built things good in those days.


  1. wow it's amazing that that old stucture still has anything standing, considering MN winters. I was last there 1977. I can't remember when I was actually down to the old mill itself, I moved in 77, did you happen to find the old cave thats around there somewhere? maybe you could drop me a line?

  2. AnonymousJune 22, 2011

    I just moved back to Hastings and we used to hike down to the old mill all the time when I was a kid. I know about the cave but you can't get to it anymore. Everything is so grown up that unless its winter you can't really get into the mill or over to the other side of it. The cave was down by the river just past the mill. It has always been a favorite place of mine.

  3. Interesting. I work at the other mill - obviously, the one that's still standing. This mill is a tad older, but the structure looks a lot like the older portions of my mill. I wonder what it looked like when it was intact. I can just imagine what it looked like inside, when all the machinery was still running.