Historical society seeking photos, stories of Harmony grain elevator


The Harmony Area Historical Society is working with Robert Vogel of Pathfinder CRM to gather photos and stories about the McMichel Grain Elevator as the committee works to restore the elevator and seeks designation on the National Register of Historic Places.

The McMichel Grain Elevator in Harmony is finding new  life as the Harmony Area Historical Society is working with the city of Harmony and current owners Barb and Jeff Soma to restore the elevator and have it named to the National Register of Historic Places.

According to committee member Ralph Beastrom, a lot has been accomplished in the past few weeks, since a kick-off meeting on Aug. 7. Since that time, the Harmony City Council has voted to move forward with the project, agreeing to accept the transfer of land as a donation from the Somas as well as creating an easement and development agreement for the future project.

Robert Vogel of Pathfinder CRM is working on gathering research, photos and information to create a case supporting an application for inclusion on the National Register. Beastrom asked that residents and local historians look through photos of Harmony, seeking views of the elevator.

He said the committee is especially looking for photos of the elevator before the outside was covered with tin. The committee suspects the elevator was once sided in cedar and would like to find photos of it with the siding and possibly determine what color the elevator once was. Photos showing evidence of when the tin was installed would also be helpful, Beastrom said.

As the committee members discuss the future look of the building, Beastrom added that the shape will likely not change, but they would like to see it restored to a certain period of time when its siding was more authentic to the earlier 1900s.

If one remembers conducting business in the historic elevator or if one has photos of the elevator – even if it is in the background of another photo, Beastrom asks that they contact him with the information. He can be reached at 507-696-5979 or by email at beastrom@harmonytel.net.

The next general meeting will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 24, at 7 p.m. at the Harmony Visitor Center.

If interested in helping with any specific areas of activity, such as publicity, historical research or future planning, please contact any of the chair persons: Beastrom at 507-696-5979 or by email at beastrom@harmonytel.net; Richard Kiehne at 507–440-8579 or by email at rakiehne@harmonytel.net; or Vicky Tribon at 507-251-6995 or by email at vtribon@harmonytel.net.