“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Valley City in Pike County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

Lime Kiln

Lime Kiln Marker image. Click for full size.
By Emily Pursley, July 28, 2019
1. Lime Kiln Marker
Inscription.  In the mid-1800s, the air here was filled with the earthy smell of wood smoke and lime being rendered into powder. Half a mile to to north, a steamboat stopped to pick up produce from farmers and merchant good. Griggsville Landing featured a warehouse, boat yard, hotel and grist mill.

Cooking Rocks into Powder
The Griggsville Landing lime kiln was likely built in the mid-1850s. At that time, lime (calcium oxide) was used in mortar to bind bricks or stones together and to chink (fill gaps) between the logs of a log building. Lime was also an ingredient in plaster and whitewash.

Hardwood logs were stacked in the base of the kiln. Pieces of limestone 6-8 inches in diameter, quarried from the bluff above the kiln, were dumped directly into the chamberís open top.

Once the kiln was fired, it took about 72 hours to heat the limestone to 1,517 F (825 C). This drove off the carbon dioxide in the rocks and reduced them to lumps of lime and powdered lime. After the kiln cooled for 12 hours, the lime was raked out through the opening at the base and packaged in barrels.

Short Lived
Immediately after the Civil War, lime production became industrialized, and the kiln was closed.
By 1872, county records show a blacksmith shop at this location.
In 1999, Griggsville Landing Lime Kiln was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Location. 39° 41.415′ N, 90° 38.746′ W. Marker is in Valley City, Illinois, in Pike County. Marker is on 470th Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Griggsville IL 62340, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Skinner House (approx. 4.4 miles away); Veterans Memorial (approx. 4.4 miles away); Grantís March to Naples (approx. 5 miles away); Earl C Smith (approx. 5.1 miles away); East Pike General Store (approx. 5.1 miles away); General Grant and the 21st IL Regiment (approx. 5.4 miles away); The Ninety-Ninth Illinois Infantry (approx. 5.4 miles away); Troutner Dam (approx. 6.7 miles away).
More about this marker. This marker is across the street from the actual kiln. The kiln is hard to see during the warm months due to overgrowth.
Additional comments.
1. Griggsville Landing
Griggsville Landing is called such because it was a well-used port near the town of Griggsville. It was also known as Phillips Ferry because the Phillips family lived nearest to the ferry and welcomed those who arrived there via the Illinois River. One great example of this is the story of Rebecca Burlend as documented in "A True Picture of Emigration." Today, the village is Valley City, probably simply because it is in a valley. Little is left, but you can imagine the history when you drive through. The Lime Kiln is about a mile south of Valley City.
    — Submitted July 28, 2019, by Emily Pursley of Pittsfield, Illinois.

Categories. Man-Made FeaturesSettlements & Settlers

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Credits. This page was last revised on July 30, 2019. This page originally submitted on July 28, 2019, by Emily Pursley of Pittsfield, Illinois. This page has been viewed 56 times since then. Photo   1. submitted on July 28, 2019, by Emily Pursley of Pittsfield, Illinois. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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