Near Valley City in Pike County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
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 chamber’s 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.
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.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & Commerce. A significant historical year for this entry is 1850.
Location. 39° 41.415′ N, 90° 38.746′ W. Marker is near Valley City, Illinois, in Pike County. Marker is on 470th Street, 0.3 miles north of 290th Avenue, 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 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Skinner House (approx. 4.4 miles away); Veterans Memorial (approx. 4.4 miles away); Griggsville Fire Bell (approx. 4˝ miles away); Grant’s 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).
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.
1. Griggsville Landing
Griggsville Landing is called such because it was a well-used port near the town of Griggsville. It was south of Philips Ferry, named so because the Philips 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, Philips Ferry is named 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.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 27, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 28, 2019, by Emily Pursley of Pittsfield, Illinois. This page has been viewed 381 times since then and 43 times this year. Last updated on April 3, 2020, by Emily Pursley of Pittsfield, Illinois. Photos: 1. submitted on July 28, 2019, by Emily Pursley of Pittsfield, Illinois. 2. submitted on January 11, 2020, by Emily Pursley of Pittsfield, Illinois. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.
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