National Register of Historic Places in San Joaquin County

National Register #84001189: Terminous Culling Chute 14 June 1983
Photograph from NRHP Nomination Form
(Click Photo to Zoom)
National Register #84001189
Terminous Culling Chute
AKA Tower Park Culling Chute
14900 West Highway 12
Built c1927

Terminous was one of several produce packing stations along the waterways and railroads of the San Joaquin Delta.

The three-story, wood-frame culling chute, designed and constructed by the Western Pacific railroad, sat on the banks of the Little Potato Slough, the final structure in a group of packing sheds aligned along the waterway from its juncture with the Mokelumne River. Terminous packed primarily celery, potatoes, onions and asparagus. Conveyor belts carried the cullings from these crops through sheds to the chute where they were loaded onto dairy trucks and taken to area farms.

The culling chute dominated the surrounding low-lying land, figuring prominently in the vista along Highway 12 approaching Little Potato Slough.

Essentially a vernacular structure, the Terminous culling chute belonged to a typology of structures of the 1920s that captured the imagination of many of the Modernists. In style, materials, proportions, setting and use, it paralleled other industrial-agricultural structures of this decade glorified through architectural rhetoric.

The Bauhaus, the Futurists and the Constructivists all wrote about such structures, citing their link to modern transportation networks (especially rail and water), their exposed skeletal framework and the necessity of mechanical working parts.

Adapted from the NRHP nomination submitted in 1984.

The culling chute was demolished.

When we visited Tower Park Marina, only a few people remembered the culling chute and they were not certain when or why it had been demolished.

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