Graue Mill and Museum, an operating waterwheel grist mill and homestead, is dedicated to maintaining a bridge between past and present generations in the belief that understanding our history is vital to our future. The Museum provides programs -- for school children and others -- that include milling, spinning and weaving and living history presentations, as well as artifacts which illustrate the way of life of area residents between 1850 and 1890 and the impact mills such as Graue Mill had on our culture.
One summer morning in 1852, Fred Graue entered his mill and turned the wheel that opened the sluice gates outside. Water from Salt Creek rushed into the millrace and the wooden waterwheel began to turn for the first time. It would turn the machinery that would grind grain for the next seventy years.
Today, Graue Mill is the only operating waterwheel gristmill in northern Illinois.
Graue Mill and Museum in Oak Brook is one of the remaining "stations" along the "Underground Railroad". Frederick Graue, a miller by occupation, housed slaves in the basement of his gristmill. Graue Mill's location on Salt Creek, a tributary of the Des Plaines River, made it an ideal location for harboring slaves. Today, the exhibit "Graue Mill and the Road to Freedom" uses photographs, documents, a computer interactive system and additional displays to illustrate the issue of slavery, the Underground Railroad and the importance of Graue Mill and DuPage County in assisting fugitive slaves to escape to freedom.
Season: Mid April - Mid November; Hours: Daily Tuesday - Sunday 10 AM to 4:30 PM, Closed Monday, Except for Holidays