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TWO PHOTOS DAVID J. LEIDER


Though much more modern than the Coloma plant shown on the opposite page, this now-defunct Chicago Pickle Company plant in Red Granite, Wisconsin, shows how simple a pickle factory


Woodstock, 60,000, with another 10,000 bushels purchased from other growers. That year they made 7,000 barrels of vinegar for use in pickling. In addition to pickles, they packed 5,000 bushels of onions, 2,000 bushels of pep- pers, 1,000 bushels of tomatoes and 3,000 casks of cauliflower. The Rose Hill plant was closed in


1886 after Dingee bought out a compa- ny with a salting station in Morton Grove, another nearby town, which had room for expansion. To supply the ever increasing business, in 1891 a salting and processing plant was established in Benton Harbor, Michigan. As this was a large fruit growing area, they also established a vinegar plant using excess apples to make cider vinegar. Other salting stations were built in Bangor, Bridgman and Sawyer, Michi- gan. Each had spurs serviced by the


The Sanborn map for S. M. Dingee’s plant in Evanston shows the operation as of 1883, but its layout is typical, with vats, packing building and shipping dock. Similarly, the ar- chitecture of the Heinz plant in Holland, Michigan, is representative of brick factory construction in the early 20th century.


SANBORN MAP COMPANY: EVANSTON, ILLINOIS, 1883


could be. The now-empty vats are decaying, but they still stand next to the raised work platforms. A siding on the Chicago & North Western served this modest-size factory until 1970.


Chicago & Western Michigan (Pere Marquette) Railway, affording easy transport between sites and to Chicago. The success of Squire Dingee encour-


aged other growers and packers to es- tablish themselves near Chicago, in- cluding the S.M. Dingee Company, which was formed by Squire’s brother, Samuel. He had left the pickle business but returned to it with his son in 1874 when he purchased the W.H. Wiswell and Company factory in Evanston. In 1873, seven pickle manufacturers were listed in the Chicago Directory. By 1898 that had mushroomed to 31. By the late 1880’s land in Wilmette


was getting too valuable to farm. The Chicago & North Western had just built the Mayfair Division, running northeast between Mayfair on what is now Chicago’s northwest side to Evanston. It was a boon to the area, as


it provided suburban service. Samuel Dingee also bought farmland


along the new line. The factory soon be- came inadequate, especially since it lacked rail access. To solve the prob- lem, a new one was built in 1892 on the southwest corner of Ashland and Foster streets along the cutoff. The new Evanston facility had 66 salting tanks and 42 processing tanks, as well as a vinegar tank so large it made visitors cry. (Large amounts of vinegar were used in packing pickles.) It also had a brick enginehouse for powering the plant, a cooperage for making barrels, a bottling room, and a rail siding that ran the length of the factory. The largest farm in the area was that


of the A.L. Budlong Company. It was also near Rose Hill on what would be- come the north side of Chicago. By 1900 they were employing 1,200 seasonal


AUTHOR’S COLLECTION


RAILROAD MODEL CRAFTSMAN


83


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