Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Oak Brook in Du Page County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Ben Fuller House

Graue Gristmill

 
 
Ben Fuller House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 26, 2011
1. Ben Fuller House Marker
Inscription. The Ben Fuller House is one of, if not the oldest surviving buildings in DuPage County. The farmhouse was built sometime between 1835 and 1842 by Benjamin Fuller, one of DuPage County’s earliest settlers. Mr. Fuller reportedly arrived to the area from New York by horseback in the spring of 1834, and eventually owned much of the land in and around present Fullerburg historic gateway district, which now links the Villages of Hinsdale and Oak Brook. In the mid-1800s this area was then called Brush Hill. Ben Fuller died in this house in 1868.

The house was originally constructed on the east side of York Road south of this site, where a private office building now sits. A fire of suspicious origin nearly destroyed the house on July 4, 1980. Facing proposed demolition, the house was moved to its present location within Fullerburg Wood Forest Preserve in 1981, with the urging and assistance of a volunteer group of dedicated local residents known as the Ben Fuller Museum Association.

Since then, the exterior of the house has been restored by reconstruction of the front porch, a new roof, metal gutters and downspouts, wooden clapboard siding, replacement windows, and operable shutters. However, the interior of the house remains gutted, and requires significant work before a public occupancy permit can be obtained. Further restoration work

Ben Fuller House Marker and the Ben Fuller House image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 26, 2011
2. Ben Fuller House Marker and the Ben Fuller House
is on-hold until funding sources become available.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Civilian Conservation Corps marker series.
 
Location. 41° 49.179′ N, 87° 55.6′ W. Marker is in Oak Brook, Illinois, in Du Page County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of York Road and Spring Road. Click for map. This marker and the Ben Fuller House is located in a park on the east side of York Road. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3801 York Road, Oak Brook IL 60523, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Mammoth Spring (approx. 2.6 miles away); Bruno F. Shustek (approx. 4.1 miles away); The Indian Boundary Line (approx. 4.5 miles away); Masonic Temple (approx. 4.5 miles away); Farmer's and Merchant's Bank Building (approx. 4.7 miles away); Main Street Cemetery (approx. 4.7 miles away); a different marker also named Main Street Cemetery (approx. 4.7 miles away); River Forest, Illinois (approx. 7 miles away).
 
Regarding Ben Fuller House. A short walk from the Ben Fuller House is the Graue Gristmill, established in 1852. Both sites share the same parking lot.

History of the Graue Grist Mill:
“[Fredrick] Graue, born in Germany, came to the United
Ben Fuller House image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 26, 2011
3. Ben Fuller House
States and settled in Fullersburg, Illinois. He purchase land [on Salt Creek] and began to build a waterwheel gristmill. It took five years to construct using brick made from clay taken from the Graue farm and fired in a kiln near the site, and white oak timbers cut from a tract along the I & M canal near Lemont...
“The German miller, who had sought freedom in the New World, was said to have provided a haven for runaway slaves in the cellar of the mill. It became a regular stop on the Underground Railroad that transported slaves on their journey to freedom in Canada...
“Although three generations of the Graue family operated the mill for 60 years, more advanced technology eventually caused the Mill to shut down. After being abandoned for several years the building was added to the properties of the DuPage County Forest Preserve District. In 1934, the Civilian Conservation Corps began to restore the building and the waterwheel. The restoration was completed in 1943 but the building never opened to the public. In 1950, the mill property was leased to the DuPage Graue Mill Corporation, an organization formed by local residents, who repaired the waterwheel and gear system, making the old mill turn again, and opened the museum in 1951.”
Extracted from the Graue Mill & Museum brochure.
 
Additional keywords.
The Graue Gristmill image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 26, 2011
4. The Graue Gristmill
Civilian Conservation Corps
 
Categories. Notable Buildings
 
The Graue Gristmill's Waterwheel image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 26, 2011
5. The Graue Gristmill's Waterwheel
Plaque inside the Graue Mill image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 26, 2011
6. Plaque inside the Graue Mill
Illinois Historical Mechanical Engineering Landmark The Graue Mill, Designed and built by Fred Graue, began operation in 1852 as a water-wheel powered grist mill, succeeding a sawmill on the same site. It served as a labor saving utility for persons in the village of Brush Hill (Hinsdale) and surroundings until World War I. The Mill represents the mill machinery design of the Eothechnic Period (10th to 19th Centuries) when wood was the principle material of construction. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers Fox Valley Section 1980
Wooden gears turned by the waterwheel image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 26, 2011
7. Wooden gears turned by the waterwheel
Wooden gears turned by the waterwheel image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 26, 2011
8. Wooden gears turned by the waterwheel
The mill image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 26, 2011
9. The mill
Construction detail of the Graue Mill image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 26, 2011
10. Construction detail of the Graue Mill
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 1,117 times since then and 46 times this year. Last updated on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.   4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
Paid Advertisement