Re: Red Owl warehouse


Douglas Harding
 

To follow up on Jim’s comments. American Crystal Sugar was a sugar beet processor. They had sugar beet plants in Mason City IA and Chaska MN in 1949, the year of the shipment data Clark has shared. Their first plant in the Red River valley was not built until 1948 at Moorhead, the one in Crookston was built in 1954. Prior to that sugar beets from the Red River area were shipped to the plant in Chaska. The Red River valley became a major source of sugar beets as northern Iowa switched from sugar beets to soybeans in the 40s, esp after WWII.

 

In 1949 sugar was shipped in boxcars in bags, barrels or bulk. The first airslide hopper was patented in 1953, again after the date of the Red Owl data. Attached is a photo of bulk sugar begin unloaded from a boxcar.

 

Doug Harding

www.iowacentralrr.org

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of np328
Sent: Saturday, February 27, 2021 8:01 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Red Owl warehouse

 

Not to throw the Red Owl warehouse topic off or head off in a tangent, however with all due respect to "where the sugar comes from” regarding the Hopkins MN warehouse; 
   Sugar is (1) a bulk commodity, (2) it is publicly traded, and should it be cane or beet (3) it is grown in many areas around the US.

Sugar costs are low, low enough that in that the US sugar industry, price supports exist to maintain US sugar independence.  

And because of all of the above - shipping transport costs quickly assume a great importance to final prices when all other costs tend to be either low or stable across large areas. 
Here we have both.

      I dislike greatly the mixing of data across eras, and am aware of this lists cut-off date of 1960, something I very strongly support. However ask that the map introduced by this link be looked at and ask yourself the question; with all these sugar processing options closer to the Hopkins, MN Red Owl warehouse, just south of the Twin Cities or in the Red River Valley, why would one go into MT?             Billings is closer (550-600 miles) to the population center of Denver, CO and seems a more logical destination.  (Wasn't there a large baking consortium there?)


https://sugaralliance.org/us-sugar/sugars-coast-to-coast-reach

  Hold your cursor over the dots on the map for more information.  

    And of the map listings for processing plants – Please, Google up the data of the plant you are interested in locally to see its history and build date. Some plants listed on the link did not exist in the STMFC era, which is why again, I dislike mixing data across extended time frames.

 

Chaska, MN to Hopkins, MN – possibly 20 miles and a single line shipment if M&StL has rights to switch the Red Owl Warehouse. (Chaska had a sugar processing plant that opened in 1906 and operated well through the STMFC era.)

East Grand Forks area to Hopkins - ~300 to 350 miles and if served by GN as the Sanborn map elsewhere shows tracks of this railroad nearby and GN has reciprocal switching rights into this plant off its Hutchinson branch, and then it would also be a single line shipment .
Via NP about the same mileage as NP and M&StL looked to each other as friendly connections. (East Grand Forks plant – opened 1923, Moorhead, MN – 1948, Crookston – 1954)  

Sidney, MT to Hopkins, MN – 600+ miles. 

East Billings to Hopkins - ~ 800 miles NP/Milwaukee (the Milwaukee is local to Hopkins Red Owl warehouse.) Or ~850 miles via NP/M&StL. 

 

I do have revenue freight classified tables for 1953 of my studied railroad however looking, Sugar, syrup, molasses, and candy - are all given in an aggregate figure under manufactured products and as such, not a lot of help. 

 

For more on sugar and sugar price supports look here:

 https://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/crops/sugar-sweeteners/background/     Sugar cane listed one third down, beets one half down

                                                                Jim Dick – St. Paul, MN                                                                            

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