Project Seeks to Pay Tribute to Buffalo’s Flour Industry Heritage

A project in Buffalo, New York, is seeking to commemorate the role of railroads in transporting flour, which was once a key part of the city’s economy.

The Flour-by-Rail Legacy Project plans to set up a display in the “Silo City” neighborhood of a locomotive and three railcars used in the movement of flour from Buffalo’s mills.

The cars are expected to have interpretive exhibits of the flour industry in Buffalo.

C. D. “Charlie” Monte Verde, who is leading the project said that at one time Buffalo was the second largest rail hub in North America.

Midwest grain arrived in the city in western New York by boat to be processed into flour.

The flour industry in Buffalo, though, suffered a devastating blow after the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway, which allowed Great Lakes freighters to have all-year water access to the Atlantic Ocean and East Coast ports.

As a result thousands of stevedores, mill workers, and railroad employees lost their jobs.

Some of the silos used by the flour industry still stand along the waterfront and along the Buffalo River.

Some former mills have been or are being transformed into residential and retail purposes.

Although the flour industry is gone from Buffalo, General Mills still produces Cheerios at a mill in the Buffalo region.

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