Did You Know?

The Washburn-Crosby Mill

The abandoned Washburn-Crosby flour mill is an important setting in Tradition of Deceit, the fifth Chloe Ellefson Historic Sites mystery. In the novel, Chloe and others are concerned about the people living in the dirty, dangerous, and unheated mill during the frigid Minneapolis winter. While the reasons for residing there were many and varied, the economy was an important contributing factor.

In February 1983, when the story takes place, the US economy was shrinking at an annual rate of 2.2%. Factory production was at a five year low. US banks were failing at a rate higher than anytime during the Great Depression, and hundreds of Savings & Loan institutions had become insolvent.

The national unemployment rate had hit 10.8% in November, with nearly 12 million people out-of-work. Minnesota's jobless rate was slightly lower, but officials were reporting that the Twin Cities' homeless population was larger than at anytime since the 1930s.

The Washburn-Crosby flour mill.