Saturday, May 10, 2014

Baldwin Ironworks building revisited

"Like a proud woman, this old building retains a certain sense of romance even as she ages.  She was built in the late 1920's by T. L. Holding and in the 1940's Curtis Baldwin successfully manufactured grain augers here.  Over the years the rambling structure found her purpose in Whitney as a lumberyard and as a supply center for grain, feed, salt and coal." 
Artist Kit Watson of Chadron sketched this excellent likeness of the old Baldwin Ironworks building in Whitney.  It's one of the 300 or so images of area historical sites that she created over the years for calendars distributed to customers  of the First National Bank.  This sketch is among the more than 150 images in her latest book, Pine Ridge Sketches.  Our thanks to Kit Watson for her generosity in allowing us to use some of her great work on this site. 

The story of Curtis Baldwin and his brothers is a fascinating one, which we hope to tell in the future.  Their impact on agricultural harvesting equipment was significant, and Curtis Baldwin held several patents on a range of devices.  The Baldwin "Gleaner" survives even today, although it has been much revised since he introduced his version in 1923.  He also dabbled in aviation and other pursuits.

UPDATE:  In 2017 we completed a story about Curtis Baldwin and his brothers.  You can find it on the web at:  "The Baldwin Brothers...from Gleaners to Gold"