Back in 1963 when I was issued my first California drivers license, I was able drive and explore along the Southern Pacific Railroad in the San Fernando Valley. One industry I found interesting to photograph then was the Sheller Feed Company located near the city of San Fernando. This industrial structure set along SP's Valley Line heading towards Bakersfield via the Teachappi route. A few diaries and ranches were holdouts at the northwestern end of the Valley as the housing boom approached.
The Sheller Feed Company was built at the time when the San Fernando Valley was mostly farmland. By the 1960s, Sheller was the last feed supplier in the Valley served by railroad. Most business along the SP's, Valley, Coast Line and the Burbank Branch were lumber yards supplying the needs of contractors building new homes and apartment buildings.
Purina was and still is the largest producer of bulk livestock feeds. The feed mill would make up the mix's for livestock, so a number of different commodities delivered by rail, shelled corn, barely oats and soybeans. Without going into details of these how all these commodities were mixed into different feeds, they were sold in bulk or by the sack.
Box cars had a protective paper inside their sliding doors and were spotted next to the taller structure with the receiving chute. The chute can be seen in the picture at the bottom-center of the taller processing structure. This receiving chute would drop down at an angle to meet an open box car door, the inside paper would be cut so the commodity would free fall down the chute for a conveyer to lift and stored in separate bins. After the commodity finished free falling from the box car door, the rest had to be hand shoveled to the ends of the box car. This was hard labor, but at the time labor was cheep.
A feed supplier also received fertilizer and other farm necessities by box car unloading through the to sliding door to be stored inside the warehouse for resale.
It only took forty years to build this structure from my old photos, think I always knew that it would make an interesting industry for my layout. But I had to do bit of selective compression so this large structure would fit on the layout. Both the length and width of the structure were reduced a bit, however the height was kept the same. The plans seen here are for the compressed model form.
I didn't model the back side of the structure, because it wouldn't have be seen on my shelf layout, nor did I take any pictures of that side back then. I did add several sliding doors to the warehouse areas back side like the sliding door seen on the front. So your guess is as good as mine.