Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Old Glory at the elevator in Castle Rock May 6, 2013

Farmers Mill and Elevator, Inc., Castle Rock, family-owned for 70 years by third generation.

Farmers Mill and Elevator, Inc., Castle Rock, family-owned for 70 years by third generation.

SMALL TOWN GRAIN elevators, like barns, beckon me to photograph them, for I fear that these skyscrapers of the prairie, as some have called them, will someday vanish.

Recently, on a pass through Castle Rock, an unincorporated village located about six miles north of Northfield in Dakota County, I spotted Farmers Mill and Elevator, Inc.

The grey of the elevator complex matched the grey skies in a landscape late in welcoming spring.

Despite that seasonal indifference over which we possess no control, I noticed the prevailing spirit of rural patriotism in an American flag stretching her stars and stripes in the brisk April afternoon wind.

Grey be gone. Red, white and blue flourishes, at least atop the grain elevator in Castle Rock.

© Copyright 2013 Audrey Kletscher Helbling