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I have done some research on this place, but I will spare everyone the history lesson. However, I will sum up a few important parts.
This wonderful plant housed the brand name "Emge" for 90 years. What started off as a small meat shop down the road became one of the largest meat packaging facilities in the area. The original Emge plant was built c. 1914 and was damaged by a fire in 1922. They continued small time until in 1928 they built a larger, state of the art facility. Much of that is what you see in the pictures. Emge knew that in order to sustain growth that they would have to expand to other states. For those of you who have read The Jungle, you know of the horrors of the meat packing industry and the subsequent Meat Inspection Act passed by Congress during Theodore Roosevelt's administration. Well, they had to meet compliance with these standards before they could ship out of the state lines. By 1935, they had met these standards and were now shipping to KY and IL with future plans to ship to TN.
The company continued to increase in size and business even through WWII, where it's main customers switched to troops and not civilians, and also there numbers of workers shrunk due to being sent over to Europe to fight. They also bought another facility in Anderson, IN, which still stands today as a recycling center. The company continued to be successful until the 1980's, where they started to take a hit. The newer guys (other meat packers) could produce more faster and ship cheaper. This was not good for Emge. In 1990, they made the decision to sell the company to the Excel Corp, who was one of the largest meat companies (5th I think) in the country. They downsized considerably. The plant then only employed 150 workers where it had over 900 back in its heyday. Excel invested in higher production rates and modernization of the plant. However, their efforts were in vain. In 1999, the plant closed. It has sat vacant ever since.
If you are more interested in the history of Emge, read this.
The Boiler Room
The Slaughter and Work Areas
I am not entirely sure of this area's use, but it was interesting.
Cold Storage and Loading Areas