The Graue Mill and Museum is a operating water wheel gristmill and homestead, a bit of local history and charm, and gives a wonderful glimpse into what life was like in the 1850's.
Located in Oak Brook, Illinois, the Mill was built by Frederick Graue, who was born in Germany, and had been operated by three generations of the Graue family for 60 years..
The four story building was built from handmade bricks and lumber cut from local trees.The Millstones were imported from France. Many types of grains were ground here for the local farmers. At one time the Mill also served as a underground Railroad that transported slaves on their way to Canada and freedom.
Restoration was completed in 1943 by the Civilian Conservation Corps but the mill wasn't opened as a Museum until 1951.In 1975 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
On weekends they have special event programs with demonstrations of activities that took place during daily life, such as, spinning, weaving and grinding grain. On the first floor they show you the milling operation. The cellar contains all the gears for the mill. The top two floors are filled with original furniture, wagons and other artifacts from the 1850's.
Outside Salt Creek provides the water to turn the mill. There is a dam that holds back the flow to provide the power needed.
You will also find paths to hike on through a lovely wooded Forest Preserve area. Just down the road is also a Nature Center.
If you would like to spend a day learning about the life of a Miller in the 1850's this is a wonderful opportunity to do so. A real education for all ages, well worth the time and quite a learning experience.
And don't forget to bring your camera. :-)
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