By Libby James
North Forty News
Smoke was still rising from the remains of Windsor’s historic old flour mill on Tuesday afternoon following a devastating fire that broke out on Sunday night August 6, 2017. Workers manned huge cranes as they worked to remove chunks of charred remains through the smoke.
Onlooker Windsor resident Gilbert Peralta leaned on his bicycle and explained, “The wood was so old—more than 100 years—and had become so hard that it is taking forever to burn.” He lives close enough to the site that he smelled smoke and saw flames leaping into the sky on Sunday night. A little research revealed that the wood used to build the mill in 1899 was heavy-duty fire resistant timber and solid stacked plank encased in clay brick, making it unlikely to burn easily from the day it was built.
Once the central focus of town, the building was a rare example of 19th century agri-industry architecture. It was added to the National Resister of Historic Places and the Colorado State registry in 1998 making it eligible for reconstruction and restoration funds.
The mill produced high quality flour for two decades before closing for a time after World War I in 1919 because of the growth of the sugar beet industry in the area. Originally the building had four stories and contained long alleyways for funneling grain with offshoots to tracks which loaded and unloaded grain and flour.
The brick mill on the west side of the building withstood the fire but the other three sections, a wood frame…
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