Thursday, December 9, 2010

Deserted cement silos in Redwood, Mississippi

Redwood is a small town north of Vicksburg at the junction of Highways 61 and 3 and the Yazoo River. Driving north on Highway 3, just before you reach the International Paper plant, sits a deserted silo and some steel sheds.

I do not recall the facility being used in at least a decade. It's site near a bend in the Yazoo River indicates that the operators once could load product onto barges.

Grain elevators (and silos in general) have a following among photographers in the Midwest. They represent a functional architecture without decoration, noble in their plainness and single-purpose design. At this site, the silos consist of concrete cylinders held together with wire (or rebar) bands. Definitely crude but strong.

Pigeons live here, and maybe some snakes, but there is not much else other than the deserted machinery. I need to return with a 4×5" film camera for some real photography.

A few years ago, I saw this deserted store off Highway 3. It was rather overgrown then and obviously had not been used in years. On my last drive north to Yazoo City I did not see it, but may have forgotten where to look. (May 2020 update: the store is no longer extant.)

(Black and white photographs based on RAW files from a Sony DSC-R1 camera, processed in Capture One LE software).


Suzassippi said...

I have always loved grain elevators and silos, since a small child. My first memory of one is the one in Elbert, Texas, where my grandfather would take the wheat after threshing. I would sit amazed at the line of trucks, and the wheat dust swirling around the air. Thanks for the great pictures that triggered that memory.

kodachromeguy said...

Thank you for the kind comments. I have many negatives from the 1980s of Texas grain silos. One day I will start scanning them and can post to the blog. I'd like to go back and take 30-year-later photographs, but that would be an ambitious undertaking.

Charles Bell said...

Hey, these are terrific photos. I always wanted to know what a grain elevator looked like up closer.
Your blog was featured by ELMalvaney on Preservation in Mississippitoday:

Joe Simpson said...

This is thhe old vally cement company plant. The silos are cement silos not a grain elevator. They closed in the early 1970s rather than upgrade their air polution equipment.

Anonymous said...

I didn't realize it had been closed that long. Knew it had been at least twenty years. We used to sneak over the fence and play paintball there. Back then you could still get up the stairs to the top of the silo. I'm sure it's not to safe these days.

Anonymous said...

was taking some pictures today and would not enter the silo. Too many bats! Maybe another day.

Unknown said...

Silos are designed for storing bulk material like coal, cement, sawdust etc. Silos are simple to transport and easy to set up on site. It can easily control any quantity of cement.
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wintow said...

Thanks for sharing, it was interesting to read!