Wisconsin Attractions March 23, 2023
by Ben Jones Once Abandoned And Left To Decay, The Garver Feed Mill In Wisconsin Has Been Restored To Its Former Glory
Sometimes, a second act can be really extraordinary. In Madison, the boom times were long over for an old feed mill, and it was abandoned, left to crumble away in the elements. A big effort was launchd to save the old mill, and while you won’t find any workers loading bags of feed here any more, you will find something pretty remarkable inside. Here’s what’s happening at the Garver Feed Mill, one of Wisconsin’s best reclaimed spaces.
Garver Feed Mill's story began in 1905, when it was built by the U.S. Sugar Company to serve as a sugar beet processing plant. Workers processed beets here, on the east side of Madison, from 1906 to 1924.
When the plant was built, it was the largest factory in Madison and the fourth sugar beet processing plant in Wisconsin.
In 1930, the plant was converted to produce animal feed, and it produced huge amounts of feed for decades. But eventually, the mill shut down, and in the 1970s, it was listed in a foreclosure sale. No new enterprises moved in, and the mill sat abandoned, in disrepair.
But there was one more act for this old mill. The Olbrich Botanical Society purchased the site in 1997; and in 2017, renovations began to convert the old mill into a vibrant space that now hosts small businesses and community events. It's also a great place for a quick meal. You can get pizza by the slice!
There's always something happening at the Garver. Events include holiday craft fairs, farmers markets, cocktail classes, and private events, like wedding receptions.
The businesses here offer a wide range of services - everything from photography to massages. The Mill is a great place to visit if you're in Madison - it's right off the bike path, and it's close to the shore of Lake Monona.
Learn more about this cool old mill on the
Garver Feed Mill’s website. You may want to also visit the adjacent Olbrich Botanical Gardens, where there are at least 10 can’t miss spots.
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Address: Garver Feed Mill, 3241 Garver Green, Madison, WI 53704, USA