Story and photos by Ronald Ahrens
In Michigan for some meetings and library research, I drove along the back road in Lima Township between the towns of Chelsea and Dexter and came upon an elevator.
Seeing me taking pictures, an employee asked if he could help me with anything. Identifying myself as a grain elevator buff, I received an invitation to come into the office. So I climbed up a steel ladder, entered a dock area, and passed through two doors leading into a warm office.
Photos on the wall showed the elevator when it must have been new in the mid-1950s. I’d noticed a “B” on the manhole cover, but the name of the builder was unknown. However, I was told that laborers from the state prison in Jackson worked on the construction.
Chelsea Grain LLC has operated the elevator a relatively short time. (It made news in 2013 after the local fire department responded to an incident involving a grain dryer.)
My other question concerned the apparent oval shape of the silos.
The answer: “Blisters.”
I dashed back to the car to fetch a business card. By the time I returned, a drawing had been prepared by way of answering.
Yet, this term begs for elaboration, which perhaps our readers can provide.
Meantime, thanks to Chelsea Grain for the hospitality.