Placeography:Featured place/2012-06

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Minneapolis Moline, Lake Street and Minnehaha Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota (1902-1962)

In 1902, the Minneapolis Steel and Machinery Company opened for business on Lake Street and Minnehaha Avenue. It later combined with the Minneapolis Threshing Machine Co. and the Moline Plow Co. to form Minneapolis Moline. Minneapolis Moline produced farm implements that were used all across Midwestern fields (and beyond). The Minneapolis Moline factory visually dominated the Lake Street landscape, and served an important purpose, both for the neighborhood and the entire country, during times of need. The factory was a valuable source of income for the neighborhood’s residents, and during wartime, the factory produced shells, warheads, and jeeps. Minneapolis Moline was also the site of numerous labor struggles. One strike in 1946, resulted in a demonstration that cut off all Lake Street traffic for 45 minutes, and shut down the factory for two months. After years of prominence in the Lake Street neighborhood, the factory began a slow decline in the 1950’s, until it closed in 1962. The shopping complex that occupies the site today was built in 1975. The former site of the Minneapolis Moline factory will be included in a neighborhood walking tour led by guides Eric Hart and Cara Letofsky on Sunday June 24th from 1:30-3:00pm.

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