Looking at Grand Rapids today, there are signs of its industrial past, though most of the buildings that built that industry are gone, or repurposed for apartments, offices and restaurants. One of the many buildings that are gone are those of the Valley City Milling Company. The location along the Grand Rivers made for an ideal location for a mill. The area now contains the Grand Rapids Public Museum and part of the Grand Valley State Campus, but a marker remains to touch on the story of the mill. History Grand Rapids has an interesting photo of the site before the buildings were destroyed by fire.
Looking east, directly across the river you can see law offices (to the left of The Blue Bridge), and the Courtyard by Marriott hotel (I recommend it!) and The Plaza Apartments (to the right). And all around is that familiar West Michigan winter site, snow.
Valley City Milling Company
In 1884 William N. Row, Conrad G. Swensberg, M.S. Crosby and R.M. Lawrence founded the Valley City Milling Company in Grand Rapids. The company, which at first milled flour, expanded to include horse feed in 1893. Incorporated in 1894, it remained in Grand Rapids until 1923, when fire destroyed its facilities. In 1924 the company moved to Portland. It began producing dog food in 1931. Company brands included Lily White Flour, Rowena Dog Diets, Rowena Quality Feeds and Rolling Campion Self-rising Flour. Manufacture of commercial feed and dog food ceased in 1958. The company continued to make flour until it sold its flour brands to a Nebraska firm in 1970. In 1973 the Valley City Milling Company opened a mobile home park in Portland.