Graue Mill and Museum
at Fullersburg Woods
Graue Mill and Museum is closed for the season. It operates mid-April through mid-November. The surrounding Fullersburg Woods Forest Preserve is open daily from one hour after sunrise until one hour after sunset.
Plan Your Visit
The Graue Mill and Museum and Graue House welcome the public for the 2023 season under the direct management of the Forest Preserve District and its staff. For many decades, the mill and house were operated on behalf of the District by the Graue Mill Corporation through a license agreement. The Forest Preserve District and its leadership are grateful to the corporation for its significant contribution to educating generations of residents about the role the gristmill played in economic life in 19th century DuPage.
As experienced stewards and managers of heritage sites throughout the forest preserves, the Forest Preserve District's expert interpreters and educators are committed to ensuring the Graue properties remain a premier cultural destination for the people of DuPage County.
Graue Mill and Museum is the only operating waterwheel gristmill in Illinois and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is the only gristmill recognized as an Illinois Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers for representing an important technology and era in the history of America.
Programs on milling, spinning, and weaving illustrate life in the 1850s and '60s and the effect mills had on the area’s culture. The mill is open for tours and programs mid-April to mid-November.
The restored Frederick Graue House was the 1850s Victorian home of the Graue family.
Born in Germany, Frederick Graue came to the United States and settled in Fullersburg, Illinois, in 1842. In 1849, he and a partner, William Asche, purchased the site of a burned-down sawmill and built a gristmill there. Limestone for the basement walls was quarried near Lemont; bricks for the rest of the walls were made from clay from the Graue farm and fired in kilns near the mill site. Flooring, beams and posts were from white oak timbers cut along the I & M Canal. The four one-ton buhrstones used for grinding were imported from France. After the gristmill opened in April 1852, it ground wheat, corn, and other grains produced by local farmers.
The mill was a major center of economic life during the 19th century. Frederick Graue and his third son, F.W. (William) Graue operated the mill for 70 years until modern milling methods rendered it obsolete and the building was abandoned.
Graue Mill was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in May 1975. In 1981 it was recognized as an Illinois Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers — the only gristmill so designated on a national or local level, representative of an important technology and era in the history of America.