Jackson Cartage is Coming Down


Cornelius Warehouse (1)Jackson Cartage, a transportation warehouse established in Lamar in the mid 1950’s is being torn down. Originally owned and operated by A.J. Jackson on East Maple Street, the company delivered for the Red Ball Freight Company from the former Pet Milk Factory. It was one of several freight carriers in Lamar, but not the oldest, but it has seen its day and is now being taken down.

Today it is owned by Colorado Mills and is removed because it is no longer safe as a storage area, its present function for Colorado Mills and the site will be used for other purpose, according to Rick Robbins, General Manager of Colorado Mills in Lamar. “There had been some discussion about buying it for the past several years as it’s right next to our refinery and crush facility and we are thinking of locating bin-type grain storage in that location,” he explained.

Cornelius Warehouse (3)

“Originally we had rented it to use as a warehouse for spare parts, but it became unsafe, so at that point we decided to rent space at the East Washington Street properties. We just became concerned about our employees when they had to go into that building,” he said.

“There are beautiful beams which are being salvaged. They’re 8 by 20 solid wood beams and the construction firm is taking care of removing them for later use. There is also an old Toledo scale, a dial scale that our employees worked diligently to preserve and we intend to remove it to the Big Timbers Museum to put on display. It was donated by the Temple Esgar family,” Robbins stated. “It still functions and it is very beautiful, featuring a big glass dial and it still has a sticker on it from a scale representative. Employees from the county came and picked it up and have power washed it clean and they will build a box to contain it so it will be in working order when it’s presented to the museum.” The Colorado Mills manager said there’s an either 4 by 4 or 5 by 5 foot platform that came with the scales for weighing out equipment or materials.

He didn’t indicate when the old building on East Maple Street would be leveled, but said it would be soon. Robbins said it had a very solid base with rebar one inch in diameter in the concrete, but the upper support structure has become weakened. “West of the building, you can see a set of old railroad tracks and a spot where there was a ramp where they had train tracks going up on it and underneath was an area where old rail cars would offload coal for sale in the town. My house and my neighbor’s house still has a coal chute where it would be delivered down to the furnace,” Robbins stated. He said he was sorry the building had to go and had received some phone calls on the demolition, but it had not been kept up and as well as an eyesore, had become a potential hazard to Colorado Mills employees. He said some of the building is being saved, as along with the large beams, Torres Construction, which is taking it down, will save as much of the old brick as possible for in the future. He added he was glad the Toledo scales could be preserved, “We made the scale a priority and removed it with as little damage as possible for display. When you look at it, it really is a piece of functional art from another era.”

By Russ Baldwin


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