Photo Friday - North Star Woolen Mill
Posted by Matt Barker on Friday, July 10, 2009 at 8:40 PM By Matt Barker / July 10, 2009 Comment
The North Star Woolen Mill is located in Minneapolis on the Mississippi River's west side in the St. Anthony Falls Historic District. Built in 1864 by W.W. Eastman and Paris Gibson, it was originally a textile mill for the North Star Woolen Company. While it was open, it manufactured high quality wool blankets, scarves, flannels, and yarns. It was the nation's largest manufacturer of wool blankets by 1925.
Entrepreneurs in Minneapolis' early days had hopes for developing a textile industry at Saint Anothony falls, similar to that of Lowell, Massachusetts. It was not to be, however, as the industry never had as much success as had been hoped. This was mostly because Minneapolis was a long distance from eastern markets and shipping centers.
The North Star Woolen Mill was the only exception. It remained a significant industry in Minneapolis until the 1940s. In 1949 the North Star Woolen Company moved its operations to Lima, Ohio.
The North Star Building sat empty for nearly 50 years until it was re-developed in 1998-99 into lofts. The building maintains its existing exterior including a sign reading "North Star Blankets".