WITH VIDEO: Historic Dunn Center grain elevator demolished

Matt Lumley knows his grain elevators.

One of Dunn Center’s historic grain elevators was torn down last week due to its state of disrepair. (Photo by DEBI ANN BIFFERT/For the Herald)
One of Dunn Center’s historic grain elevators was torn down last week due to its state of disrepair. (Photo by DEBI ANN BIFFERT/For the Herald)

By BRYCE MARTIN

Herald Editor

Posted April 5, 2013 

DUNN CENTER — Matt Lumley knows his grain elevators.

As the new owner of the two historic grain elevators in Dunn Center, Lumley made the decision to demolish one of the elevators.

The process to teardown the large structure began last week.

Inside the demolished elevator, which was condemned over 20 years ago, the west wall had a rotten section that was about 12 feet wide and 20 feet high. The east wall was in similar state, with some of the big support columns in the center cracked and broken.

“It was a major safety risk,” Lumley, 37, said. “You couldn’t walk on the floor in there and I didn’t want some kid crawling in there and getting hurt, or anybody else for that matter.”

Lumley said he was told a year ago, when he purchased the property, that it would have to come down. The Dunn Center City Council also was aware of Lumley’s plan.

The other elevator, however, will remain standing.

“Our hopes are to … do some restoration on it and then paint it up,” Lumley said.

The standing elevator is in good shape, according to Lumley.

“As far as we’re concerned, we think it’s kind of a landmark and we’re pretty proud of it.”

While it never again will function as a grain elevator, Lumley said he is uncertain what he’ll decide to do with the standing elevator and said he has no plans to tear it down.

“We’re very aware of the historical significance of them,” he said.

Lumley, who owns Lost Trapper Trucking and lives in Dunn Center, initially decided to purchase the two structures for a location to base his company.

“You can’t find a place to park a truck around here,” he said.

Growing up in Iowa, Lumley said he used to work with grain elevators and, ever since, has enjoyed them.

In the grain trade, a grain elevator is a tower containing a bucket elevator or a pneumatic conveyor, which scoops up grain from a lower level and deposits it in a silo or other storage facility.

North Dakota Mill and Elevator in Grand Forks is the largest flour mill in the United States.

Contact Bryce Martin at bmartin@countrymedia.net.


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