Directions

 To sites 23,24, and 25
 Follow Muskegon / Commercial Avenue north to 100th Street
 Turn west (left) on 100th Street   to view Slag Valley (see below)
Return east on 100th Street to Commercial Avenue and turn north (left) 




      Dumping slag from the furnaces of 
                   Wisconsin Steel

General Mills c.1990's
Calumet River in Background

23) General Mills South Chicago Plant (104th and Muskegon Avenue)

General Mills Cereal Plant

General Mills Aerial View

The South Chicago plant actually began in 1902 when the Wabash Railroad built the Rialto Grain Elevator on a slip on the Calumet River. A year later a flour mill was erected by Star and Crescent Milling Company.  In 1922 Washburn Crosby purchased the flour mill and a year later ground was broken for a seven story cereal plant. In 1929 the General Mills Corporation was formed. Among the many products made at the plant were Wheaties introduced in 1924. Cheerios were originally named Cheerioats but the name was changed to Cheerios because of complaints by Quaker Oats. Cheerios were first processed in 1941. Also produced at this plant were Bisquick, Kix, cake mixes, piecrust mix, Jets,Cocoa Puffs, Frosty Os, Sugar Sparkled Twinkles, Total, Trix, Body Buddies, Apple Cinammon Cheerios, Honey Nut Cheerios, Ripple Crisp, Peanut Butter Puffs, Suncrunchers, Country Corn Flakes, and Corn Total. The announcement of the plant's closing came in 1995. 

24) Slag Valley (110th Street to 104th, Muskegon Avenue to rail line east of Torrence Avenue)

The molten refuse from the steel making process is called slag. Rail cars dumped the slag from the Wisconsin Steel Mill in a field where it cooled before being used for various byproducts. The neighborhood near Wisconsin Steel's slag dumping area came to be called "Slag Valley." The close of the 20th century finds this formerly dynamic industrial community trying to find a niche in the post industrial economy. Part of the challenge involves dealing with the cleanup of the old industrial sites.

The chemistry class from Washington High School collected soil samples from three sites in Slag Valley: 101st and Escanaba, 100th and Muskegon, and 100th and Marquette. There was a remarkable difference in the amount of vegetation growing at these three sites ranging from heavy to virtually none. The most notable results were a high manganese and calcium concentration and also a high pH in the area with no vegetation.

25) Saint Archangel Michael Church and Grove Park Village (9801 S. Commercial Avenue)
 

Original St. Archangel Michael's Church

St. Archangel Michael's New Church

Serbian immigrants founded St. Archangel Micheal Serbian Orthodox Church in 1919. The church was designed by Franz Roy in 1926. Seventy-nine years of Orthodox Serbian worship on Commercial Avenue came to an end on July 2, 1998, when the congregation moved to the Serbian Social Center it built in 1986 in south suburban Lansing. Worshippers hope to build a new church adjacent to the social center.   


St. Archangel Michael Church
Recent View
(Prior to move to Lansing Illinois)

Grove Park Village is a new housing development located near 98th and Commercial Avenue in the neighborhood of Veterans Park. Grove Park will have 116 single-family homes on 13 acres, much of the land acquired in the purchase of land from Saint Michael the Archangel Serbian Orthodox Church and its grounds. The models and the initial homes are on Commercial Avenue, a busy thoroughfare with a mix of commercial and residential buildings. Grove Park is a mostly triangular subdivision, bounded by Commercial Avenue on the west, portions of 98th and 97th Streets on the north, then extending to nearly 100th Street.

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