In the early 1900s, the American Nitrogen Products Company built a large plant on the rail line — on the north side of La Grande — to produce nitrate of soda crystals.
Although I don’t know who American Nitrogen Products Company’s customers were, sodium nitrate is used in making potassium nitrate, fertilizers, and explosives.
The building has since burned down, but it was impressive in its day.
In front of the plant are the futuristic La Grande homes, with no chimneys because they were lit and heated with electricity.
Photo courtesy of Rich Williams.
Click on photo to enlarge.