Graue Mill & Museum

Step Back in Time at the Graue Mill & Museum

Nestled in the southern corner of the Fullersburg Woods Nature Preserve is an exciting destination where programs on milling, spinning, and weaving illustrate life between 1850 and 1890. 

We’re talking about the Graue Mill & Museum, and it’s the only operating gristmill in Illinois. 

Mill History 

Frederick Graue came to America from Germany in 1842. Seven years later, he purchased the land of a burnt down sawmill and constructed the gristmill. In fact, he built it using limestone and bricks, along with beams, posts, and flooring made from white oak timber cut along the I&M Canal.

The mill opened in 1852, and it ground wheat, corn, and other grains produced by area farmers. In 1975, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places because it is representative of an important era and technology in the United States. 

Frederick Graue House 

Adjacent to the mill, you’ll also find Frederick’s house which was constructed in 1858. It’s a fine example of Victorian “Italianate” architecture, a style that was prevalent in America between 1850 and 1890.

It was the Graue family home until 1945 when it was sold and turned into a modern post World War II residence. Today, visitors can see the parlor, pioneer kitchen, and a child’s bedroom.


Volunteers are one of the mill’s most important assets. Classes teaching weaving and spinning are held each spring, and upon completion, these volunteers demonstrate their skills twice a month.

There are also other ways to devote your time, including marketing and office support (data entry, filing, and mailings).

Special Events 

The Graue Mill & Museum hosts exciting events throughout the year. Those not to be missed include the Harvest Fest, Craft Beer Tasting, and the Fine Arts Festival.

If you would like to live near the Graue Mill & Museum and other premier destinations, please contact us. We would love to give you a tour of The Retreat at Seven Bridges where you can see everything we have to offer. 

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