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Manchester Has a Long History with Grain

There is apparently a long history of grain in Manchester. According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch in reference to the above picture:

“In June 1952, trucks loaded with wheat during the harvest season had a long wait – including along the Mayo Bridge – to reach the Cargill Inc. grain elevator at First and Hull streets in South Richmond. About 250 trucks delivered on this day alone, and as many as 85 were lined up at one time. One driver reported waiting eight hours to unload his truck.”

Today the grain elevator at the southeastern end of the Mayo Bridge is emblazoned with a the Southern States sign that we have all come to recognize.

But did you know the grain elevator is still leased by Perdue Farms? According to the Richmond-Times Dispatch as of 2014:

“Though the Southern States logo is still a prominent feature of the silos, located near the southern side of the Mayo Bridge, the farmers co-operative shut down its feed mill there in 2003. The 57-year-old grain silos are still used by chicken processor Perdue Farms, and the adjacent warehouse is leased to various tenants who use it mainly for storage.”

In trying to learn more about the silos and doing some research, I noticed that the archive picture caption from the Richmond Times-Dispatch shows the silos as being in existence in the 1952 photograph, yet Wikipedia claims that the Souther States silos were built in 1957 (as does a separate Richmond Times-Dispatch article). The historical photograph below also shows the silos in existence during the Dunlop Mills fire of 1949.

Does anyone know if these silos are all one in the same, or were they rebuilt and hence the reason for the discrepancy on the dates? If anyone wants to play history detective and finds the answer, please let me know. Until then, it remains a mystery…

The Dunlop Flour Mills ablaze, March 1949, Richmond, Virginia. Byrd’s Flour Mills, built on the South East end of Mayo’s Bridge in 1732 along with The Manchester Canal that powered them, were purchased by William Mayo shortly after. They remained Mayo’s Mills until 1852, when they were sold to Dunlop Moncure & Company. Dunlop rebuilt the flour mills in 1853, which are shown burning here in 1949, though Dunlop ceased flour mill operations in 1932. The iconic Southern States Cooperative silos, seen on the left side of the photo, were built for distributing seeds and fertilizers in the 1920’s and still stand to this day, though they are no longer in use. Photographer Unknown. . . . . #richmondvirginia #vintagerichmond #byrdsmills #mayosmills #dunlopmills #dunlopflourmill #dunlopmoncureandcompany #mayobridge #mayosbridge #manchestercanal #manchester #southerstates #rfd #richmondfiredepartment #manchesterfiredepartment #southernstatessilos #southernstatescoop #southernstatescooperative #rvanews

A photo posted by Vintage Richmond (@vintage_richmond) on

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