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Atwater (Minn.) Elevator now closed, remains for sale

ATWATER, Minn. -- With a history that goes back 121 years at its location on the corner of Fourth Street and Pacific Avenue -- across the railroad tracks from city hall near the center of town -- the Atwater Elevator has had a prominent presence ...

Elevator complex for sale
The Atwater Elevator, which includes six steel bins with a total storage capacity of 450,000 bushels, grain pumps and a 70-foot above-ground semi scale, is for sale. (CAROLYN LANGE | TRIBUNE)
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ATWATER, Minn. - With a history that goes back 121 years at its location on the corner of Fourth Street and Pacific Avenue - across the railroad tracks from city hall near the center of town - the Atwater Elevator has had a prominent presence in town.

That presence grew quiet, however, when the tall, steel-gray elevator closed earlier this month. The elevator, which is currently owned by Stan Lilleberg and his son, Nick Lilleberg of Atwater, had been for sale since last April.

Area farmers who had bought or sold corn, soybeans or wheat with the elevator were sent letters last year when the facility was put on the market, according to manager VaLoris Anderson.

There have been no buyers yet and the decision was made to close the elevator March 1 for personal family reasons.

“It was not an easy decision for them to make,” Anderson said.

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A notice on the elevator’s door and website thanked customers for their patronage and notified farmers that Feb. 26 was the last day grain would be purchased.

The elevator, which includes six steel bins with a total storage capacity of 450,000 bushels, grain pumps and a 70-foot above-ground semi scale, is for sale.

The notice says that interested parties should call 320-974-8884.

According to the Atwater history book in the town’s library, the elevator was built in 1895 when it was known as the Nels Engel Elevator.

It was sold to the Farmer’s Cooperative Elevator Company in 1901.

In 1916 a fire destroyed the original structure and it was rebuilt in 1917.

The Farmer’s Cooperative owned and operated the elevator until 1936 when it was purchased by the Monarch Elevator Company, which owned the business until 1939.

From 1939-89 it was owned by PV Elevator and then sold to Dale and Floyd Kragenbring and Alvin Roiland, who operated it as Atwater Grain & Supply Inc. from 1990-1997.

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The Buffalo Lake Co-op Elevator owned the property from 1998-2001 and in 2001 it was purchased by Gordy and Myron Behm.

The Lilleberg family purchased the elevator in 2007.

Jennie-O Turkey Store operates the Atwater Feed Mill on the east side of town and Bushmills Ethanol is located just west of Atwater.

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