Photo: Holly Sugar Plant - Huntington Beach (Circa 1917)


Bob Chaparro
 

Photo: Holly Sugar Plant - Huntington Beach (Circa 1917)

Photo from the Los Angeles Public Library collection.

https://tessa.lapl.org/cdm/ref/collection/photos/id/95208

Photo can be enlarged. Photo editing software can improve the image.

Plant was served by the Southern Pacific. SP boxcars in the foreground.

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA


Scott
 

There are a lot of sugar beet sugar factories here in Colorado.  Couple are still operating today.  They are stinky places for sure when running.

Be an interesting place to model.

Scott McDonald 


Douglas Harding
 

Sugar beets used to be a major crop in Iowa. They moved out as farmers switched to soybeans in the 30s and 40s. Soybeans require more water than beets, so beets moved to dryer climes further west, the Dakotas, Wyoming and Colorado. There were at least three sugar beet plants in Iowa, Waverly, Belmond and Mason City. The Belmond and Mason City plants were American Beet, which later became American Crystal Sugar. The Mason City plant did not shut down until the 90s. The Milwaukee Road was still hauling sugar beets into Mason City in the 80s. The Belmond plant was converted to soybean processing in the 50s. I think the Waverly plant shut down before WWII. It was used to make corn syrup during the war. There was also a sugar beet plant in Chaska MN which served the northern Iowa beet growers.

Attached are a few photos.

Doug Harding
Youtube: Douglas Harding Iowa Central Railroad


On Fri, Jun 3, 2022 at 7:43 PM Scott <repairman87@...> wrote:
There are a lot of sugar beet sugar factories here in Colorado.  Couple are still operating today.  They are stinky places for sure when running.

Be an interesting place to model.

Scott McDonald 


Thomas Evans
 

Stinky is in the nose of the beholder, Scott.  I happen to really like the sweet/pungent smell of cooking sugar beets.
Do you know which 2 plants are still operating in Colorado and who is operating them?
I'm from Rocky Ford & have beet sugar in my blood.

Tom E.


Thomas Evans
 

Doug,

Could those all be massive piles of sugar beets on the ground everywhere in the Mason City photo?
If so, that's an awful lot of sugar beets & not a single beet car (steam-era or otherwise) anywhere.
The gons in the upper part of the photo appear to be delivering coal, which is obviously what the plant is using for fuel.
Beet deliveries seem to be all by truck at the dump in the center of the photo.
It's a bit confusing, and clarification would be most welcome!

Tom E.


Ken Vandevoort
 

I grew up in a family grocery store in Iowa.  Holly sugar was the primary brand we sold.  In the early 60's, most weekly grocery shopping in our area was done on Friday and Saturday.  Almost everyone bought a 10 lb. bag every week.  (Farm families also usually bought a 25 lb. bag of Robin Hood flour.)  If I recall, there were six 10 lb. bags in a heavy paper bag.  The outer bags went into our box bin up front along with cardboard boxes from other merchandise.  It wasn't "paper or plastic" in those days.  It was "box or bag".  Some things went into empty sugar sacks.  Then Fidel Castro came along and there was a sugar shortage as Cuban cane sugar was no longer available.

I will admit that when I was learning to read, I thought it was Holy sugar.

Ken Vandevoort


Douglas Harding
 

Tom yes indeed those are piles of beets. If you zoom in you will see the tracks between the piles. Also note the cranes used to move beets from the piles to the conveyor into the processing house.

Here are three photos showing beets arriving via rail at Mason City. Stitched together they give a panoramic view of the beet unloading tracks.

I have additional photos showing beet loaders and unloaders from other parts of the country. Primarily Colorado, California and Minnesota.

Doug Harding
Youtube: Douglas Harding Iowa Central Railroad


Lloyd Keyser
 

As a side note, the C&NW composite USRA gons were never rebuilt. Originally used in the Southern Iowa coal fields as they were required for rebuild were scrapped as the new 1937 steel quad hoppers started coming on line. After the Iowa coal played out the C&NW bought a Southern Illinois mine near Benld IL. where the quads were assigned. Also interesting is the Milw ballast cars. During the rush every empty car that could be found was used to haul beets. Even foreign gons were used for several weeks before being returned to the home roads. LK

On Sat, Jun 4, 2022 at 11:44 AM Douglas Harding <iowacentralrr@...> wrote:
Tom yes indeed those are piles of beets. If you zoom in you will see the tracks between the piles. Also note the cranes used to move beets from the piles to the conveyor into the processing house.

Here are three photos showing beets arriving via rail at Mason City. Stitched together they give a panoramic view of the beet unloading tracks.

I have additional photos showing beet loaders and unloaders from other parts of the country. Primarily Colorado, California and Minnesota.

Doug Harding
Youtube: Douglas Harding Iowa Central Railroad


Tony Thompson
 

!Wow, Doug, those are some photos of beet piles! Photos I have of rail-served plants in California show the beets all disappearing into the receiving bins.

Tony Thompson
tony@...


Bob Chaparro
 

My friend, Cliff Prather, has provided some evidence that the photo, identified by the L.A. Public Library as being in Huntington Beach (CA), actually is Oxnard (CA).
Bob Chaparro
Hemet, CA 


Andy Carlson
 

Well, that explains my thoughts, as I thought it looked a lot like Oxnard. Simple explanation!
-Andy Carlson
Ojai CA

On Saturday, June 4, 2022 at 10:18:53 AM PDT, Bob Chaparro via groups.io <chiefbobbb@...> wrote:


My friend, Cliff Prather, has provided some evidence that the photo, identified by the L.A. Public Library as being in Huntington Beach (CA), actually is Oxnard (CA).
Bob Chaparro
Hemet, CA 
_._,_._,_


Clarence Zink
 

Don't forget Utah had a thriving sugar beet industry for many years.  One of the "neighborhoods" I lived in at one time in SLC was the "Sugar House" neighborhood, and one of the best July 24th fireworks ever seen was in Sugar House Park.  The place is named after an old sugar beet processing plant.

Try this link for an advanced search for "Utah" and "sugar beet".  Hopefully it will turn up the first page of many with info about sugar beets in Utah. 

https://utah-primoprod.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/primo-explore/search?query=any,contains,Utah,AND&query=any,exact,Sugar%20Beet,AND&tab=default_tab&search_scope=mw&sortby=rank&vid=MWDL&lang=en_US&mode=advanced&offset=0&fromRedirectFilter=true

Up into at least the 1980's, there used to be a few abandoned sugar beet plants along I-15 between SLC and the Idaho border.  On my trip through there last year I think I saw only 1.  Times change.

CRZ


 

Back in late 1960s worked in a super market as a “box boy”. We were putting groceries in paper bags then (way before plastic) but not boxes.

Andy Andy Jackson
Santa Fe Springs CA


Ted Larson
 

Regarding:
beets moved to dryer climes further west, the Dakotas, Wyoming and Colorado.  
……
There was also a sugar beet plant in Chaska MN which served the northern Iowa beet growers.


There is much sugar beet production in north west Minnesota. 
I presume that the chaska plant processes sugar from there.  

The plant is landlocked after the M&StL Minnesota River bridge was ice damaged and removed.  I continue to see much truck traffic. 

Ted
Chaska Minn. 



--
Ted Larson
Trainweb.org/MHRR   ---   GN in 1965   ---   NASG.org