History of Dundas, Minn., revolves around beloved flour mill

The town of Dundas, Minnesota, sure has a lot of pride and a lot of love for the Dukes.

Arlene Williams has collected the history of Dundas, a town formed 161 years ago around the Archibald Flour Mill.

“We have pictures of the mill at various stages,” Williams said. “The Archibald Flour was world known.”

At 85 years old, Arlene has been around for about half of the town’s life.

The ruins of the old flour mill are fenced off now for safety. But what remains are not just the origin of Dundas; the growth of Minneapolis has its foundation here, too.

“They bragged a little bit too much and word got out,” Williams said.

The Archibald Mill-produced flour was considered some of the best in the world, selling for several dollars more a barrel - a lot of money in the late 1800s.

The story goes that the Washburn Millers from Minneapolis took a tour, took notes and copied the process from the talkative Archibalds.

“The Archibalds - who basically founded the town - were from Dundas, Ontario,” said City Manager John McCarthy.

The Archibald’s named their new home after their old one in Canada. Even now, a century and a half later, city hall gets mistake calls from Canadians wondering about trash pickups for street work.

“We get phone calls maybe every two or three weeks,” McCarthy said.

To this day, Dundas is proud of how their long gone mill is really the root of what became General Mills - even if it was “borrowed” success.