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Atlanta in Logan County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Welcome #1

The J.H. Hawes Grain Elevator Museum

 
 
Welcome #1 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jason Voigt, September 28, 2020
1. Welcome #1 Marker
Inscription.  Welcome

I'm John Hardin Hawes and I built this grain elevator back in 1904. It's sixty feet tall, was in business for nearly 75 years, and is one of the few wooden grain elevators still standing in the United States. These days we aren't in the agriculture business anymore. Instead, we operate as the J.H. Hawes Grain Elevator Museum where we help you learn what a grain elevator was and how it worked.

We've set up a self-guided tour for you that begins along the brick path to your right and stops at each of the main buildings and areas here on the elevator grounds. At several of the stops you'll find audio recordings you can download to enhance your tour experience:

If you have access to a web browser and a media player, please take a moment to visit http://www.haweselevator.org/audio/ for instructions on how to listen to these audio recordings

So What is a Grain Elevator?

A grain elevator is a place where farmers paid to have their grain stored before it was sold. Thanks to improved farming techniques in the late 1800s, farmers began raising so much grain that
Welcome #1 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jason Voigt, September 28, 2020
2. Welcome #1 Marker
they didn't have the means to store it on their own farms. Folks like me came up with the idea of building facilities to temporarily store all that grain, then have it shipped out to market for processing. I made money in two ways: by charging farmers to store their grain, and by purchasing a farmer's grain, then selling it to places like the distilleries in Peoria, Illinois. I was a classic "middle man" in the grain business.

Let's begin your tour with a challenge.

Can you put yourself in my shoes back in 1904 when I decided to build this grain elevator? Using the map shown can you pick what you think would be the best spot here in Atlanta to construct my elevator?

When you're done, head over to the small, white building to your right. That's the Scale House, the first place a farmer bringing a load of grain to my elevator would have come. It's a good place to start showing you what a grain elevator is and how it works.

It's 1904. Where would you build your elevator?

(the following are under flaps, clockwise:)

• In 1904, railroads provided the best means of transporting grain to market. While there is space at this location, it would not be a wise business decision to construct a grain elevator that is not directly located on a railroad line.

Try again.

• Locating an elevator
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here, next to the north/south Chicago & Alton Railroad is a good choice, but it isn't the best spot available in Atlanta.

Try again.

• Locating an elevator here, next to the east/west Terre Haute & Peoria Railroad is a good choice, but it isn't the best spot available in Atlanta.

Try again.

• Good choice!

I'm a businessman so I want my elevator located in a spot that will help me make the most money possible. This location at the intersection of the north/south Chicagao & Alton Railroad and the east/west Terre Haute and Peoria Railroad, which means I'll have access to the greatest possible markets for the grain I store here at the elevator.
 
Erected by J.B. Hawes Grain Elevator Museum.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AgricultureIndustry & CommerceRailroads & Streetcars.
 
Location. 40° 15.643′ N, 89° 14.032′ W. Marker is in Atlanta, Illinois, in Logan County. Marker can be reached from 1st Street south of NW Race Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 199-293 SW 2nd St, Atlanta IL 61723, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Engine House #5 (a few steps from this marker); Scale House #2 (a few steps from this marker); Box Car #6 (a few steps
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from this marker); The J.H. Hawes Grain Elevator Museum (a few steps from this marker); J.H. Hawes Grain Elevator (within shouting distance of this marker); Atlanta Public Library-Museum (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Bushnell Grist Mill (about 500 feet away); Library Clock Tower (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Atlanta.
 
More about this marker. This is the first of six markers that are part of the self-guided tour at the J.H. Hawes Elevator Museum. (#3 and #4 are indoors)
 
Regarding Welcome #1. The website for the museum, on the marker (http://www.haweselevator.org) is not accessible as of 2020.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 22, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 22, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. This page has been viewed 38 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 22, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois.
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Feb. 27, 2021