Nov 17 2007
3800 S. York Road, Oak Brook, IL. 630-655-2090 (museum) or 630-920-9720 (office). www.grauemill.org
Adults $3.50, 4-12 $1.50, 3 and under free. Free parking. Not easily stroller accessible. Restrooms available in nearby park area.
The Graue Mill is one of those pieces of history that is probably overlooked by many visitors to the Chicago area, but when I came across it in our travel information and mentioned it to my husband, I had his attention immediately and it became one of our “must-see” sites. You see, the Graue Mill is not only the only operating water gristmill in Illinois, but it is a documented stop on the Underground Railroad. What an interesting piece of history!
We visited the Graue Mill on a Sunday afternoon when they were having a scavenger hunt for the kids. They had to visit all three floors of the mill to find specific objects and jot them on their papers. Along the way, artisans and interpreters were there to bring the mill to life. Perhaps most exciting was the actual demonstration of the milling process, where my oldest was chosen to go behind-the-rail and help grind the grain.
Outside the mill, there are nice paths where you can watch the wheel at work, or walk along the adjacent stream and keep a restless toddler happy for a while.
We were very glad to have found the Graue Mill. It was not only very interesting for my husband and me, but the kids still talk about it as well.
I really liked watching the gears turn round and round and doing the model of the mill.