Tulsa's Historic Booster Feed Mill Destroyed By Fire

Saturday, March 15th 2014, 2:56 pm
By: News On 6

Tulsa firefighters responded to a fire at the old Booster Feed Mill on Admiral between Yale and Sheridan at about 1:30 p.m. Saturday. The building is an old feed store and grain elevator located just off Interstate 244.

Flames could be seen for some distance from the large structure. Crews went on the defensive and were able to knock the fire down shortly before 2:30 p.m.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, according to the Tulsa Fire Department. Witnesses say a metal billboard next to the feed mill was struck by lightning then the building went up in flames.

Public Service Company of Oklahoma was at the scene checking power poles and electric lines that may have been affected by the fire.

The business was abandoned years ago and bought by Jim Wolfe, a photographer who used to take photos of the building for the local newspaper.

Oklahoma Traveler Scott Thompson wrote about the mill in the late '90s, noting that it was built in 1941. The Booster Feed Mill was called a "great, creaking repository of oats and corn and soybeans and alfalfa," he said.

Wolfe reopened the business, selling specialized feeds for animals from horses and cows to ostriches, llamas and kangaroos, Thompson reported.

The structure had an old hand-operated elevator to reach the top floor.

"She has stood here, rumbling and rattling, for 55 years," Thompson wrote in 1996. "One day, it seems, civilization just showed up. Hemmed in by railroad tracks, city traffic, shopping centers - and the Interstate left a pillar on the front lawn.

"The grains pour through her cobwebbed veins, and Jim Wolfe, blanketed with dust and grime is exceedingly happy to have kept Tulsa County's last feed mill alive.

"There is a calming reassurance here of a time before the city came out this way and surrounded her with chaos and clutter. Here beneath the highway, cobwebs and grime and the smells of the Good Earth still have a place."