On April 11th, 1986 the tours of the Kellogg's Cereal Factory sadly came to an end. How many of us toured that plant as a child?

For many of us, we would pile into the family car and take day trips around the state of Michigan during the summer. One of those stops would be in Battle Creek to the Kellogg's Cereal Factory.

I went on this tour probably 4 or 5 times as a kid. There we were standing in line with all of the other people on the tour, wearing the paper hat to cover our hair. I recall how cool it was to actually be inside the production facility where they were making Corn Flakes and my other favorite breakfast foods! What kid wouldn't be mesmerized by the steady stream of empty boxes, sailing by on a conveyor belt at high speed, to be fill with our favorite cereal.

The tour was about an hour in length. Afterwards, each visitor was given a postcard or two, and a bundle of the individual servings of a variety of Kellogg's cereals. A single service size box of your favorite cereal was always a fun treat for the drive home -- minus the milk of course.

On April 11, 1986, Kellogg’s stopped giving tours of its breakfast-food plant. The reason for the end of the 80-year tradition was said the fear that company secrets were at risk due to spies from other cereal companies.

After Kellogg's stopped doing the tours of the actual plants, they opened up a Cereal City exhibit/museum in 1997. Cereal City was designed to look like a turn-of-the-20th-century industrial factory. Part of it was set up to simulate part of the factory tour, but it was never quite the same. After years of a declining attendance, Cereal City closed in 2007.

I can still close my eyes and smell the cereal being manufactured at Kellogg's. I miss those tours!

Special thanks to Heidi Allen for providing the main picture at the top of this post. She is in the picture with her brother Andy Stokes (on the left). I don't think pictures were allowed on the tour, but afterwards many families took pictures at the Tony the Tiger and Tony Jr. statue outside the plant.

Here is more information and pictures about the Kellogg's Cereal Factory Tours.

Here is more on the history of Kellogg's.