The Queen Bee Mill
131 E Falls Park Dr, Sioux Falls, SD 57104
5 am - 10 pm daily
outdoor-adventures, playground, run, parks, road-trip
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Step into the past, and learn a bit of the history of beautiful Sioux Falls at these historic ruins.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the ruins of The Queen Bee Mill are worth a glimpse. Built back in 1879, the mill was created with the dream of harnessing the powerful waters of the Big Sioux River for the industry. In its heyday, it would be able to process 1200 barrels of grain per day, with an elevator that held 130,000 bushels at a time. The mill was the talk of the town, with the townspeople excited at the prospect of more jobs in town. The crown jewel of the site was the gorgeous seven-story high grain mill, built of local quartzite. Unfortunately, the water level in the river dropped and the mill was only to be in service for two years. The mill was damaged in a fire in 1956 and was added to the National Historic Places in 1984.
Despite it's brief production history, the mill's ruins were beautiful to see, and with any number of history real world lessons for kids. Our girls were fascinated by the whole story, and wanted to know more. This historical site is also a great stop for families who enjoy a bit of worldschooling in their travel plans. It opened up the conversation to the idea of clean power, and how hydropower works. If you and your family love historical sites, you'll enjoy this stop.
The Queen Bee Mill is located alongside the jewel of Sioux Falls' parks, the beautiful Falls Park. After exploring the ruins, head down the trail to explore Falls Park for a picnic. There's also a small cafe located onsite, as well as bathroom facilities.