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The Seed House Building is the last structure remaining in Vinton of the Iowa Canning Company, which was for several decades one of the largest canning companies in the state. The company conditioned, processed and stored seeds—primarily sweet corn seeds—in the building for its contract farmers and farming operations. The Seed House was built in 1927 and used until 1959. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2012 and now houses a business called Vintage Glassworks.

The Iowa Canning Company Seed House Building was constructed in 1927 and is the last of the company's buildings still standing in Vinton.

Sky, Window, Property, Building

The first canning company in Vinton was the S.H. Watson Canning Company, which was founded in 1879 at this location. It canned corn and tomatoes and, at its peak, produced 1.5 million cans per year that were shipped to Denver, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Tacoma. It was one of the first sugar corn canning companies in the state. Another company, the Kelley Canning Company, was established in 1892 by a group of investors that included Frank G. Ray, who built the nearby Frank G. Ray House. It was located between Fourth and Fifth Avenues and employed 250 men and women during the pack season.

In 1895, the Kelly Canning Company reorganized the Iowa Canning Company. In the coming years, the company's output grew significantly. By World War I, it was producing almost 9 million cans of corn under 23 brands each year. It also sold peas, beans, succotash, pumpkin, and asparagus products. The company bought the Vinton Canning Company in 1921, which was struggling in the wake of decreased demand for canned goods after the war. The company later merged with the Sac Canning Company, which was located in Sac City, Iowa. To celebrate the merger, Vinton leaders began an annual event in September called Sweet Corn Day, which drew around 10,000 people each year for several decades.

In 1947, the Minnesota Valley Canning Company (which owned the "Green Giant" brand) bought the Iowa Canning Company. Canning operations in Vinton continued until 1959 when the company announced it was closing the facility as a result of declining profits. The Seed House and adjacent buildings were then used by various manufacturers in the coming years. It appears the building was used for some time before becoming the home of Vintage Glassworks.

"Iowa Canning Company." Benton County Historical Society. Accessed September 2, 2021.

Svendsen, Marlys A. "Iowa Canning Company Seed House Building." National Park Service - National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. March 12, 2012.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

Jim Roberts, via Wikimedia Commons: