Learning Tour: Graue Corn Gristmill and Naper Settlement


The Heartland’s Corn


Learning Tours: Graue Grist Mill and Naper Settlement
October 6th, 2017


Information on: Maize, The Heartland’s Corn Symposium
October 7th, 2017


Information on Learning Tour: Three Farms, an Orchard and a Fish Boil
October 8th, 2017


We kick off this maize-centric weekend with a learning tour of the historic Graue Grist Mill and Museum in Oakbrook, IL, which ground corn for 70 years commencing in 1852. Attendees may lunch at York Tavern, which has been in continuous operation since 1843. The tour concludes at Naper Settlement, an outdoor 19th century living history museum.


Learning Tour:

Graue Corn Gristmill and Museum


3800 York Road Oak Brook, Illinois 60523
Tour members will receive a one-pound bag of cornmeal


Friday, October 6th, 2017
9:45 AM – 11:30 AM
(Metra from Union Station leaves at 8:50 AM to Hinsdale arriving at 9:27 am)


Lunch at York Tavern is not included in the program fee, though recommended for historic interest:

York Tavern

3702 York Rd, Oak Brook, IL 60523
Built in 1843, Oldest continuously operating restaurant in DuPage County.
11:30 AM – 12:45 PM (It is 30 minutes to our next stop.)


 Naper Settlement

523 S Webster St, Naperville, IL 60540
1:30 PM – 4:00 PM

Tickets may be purchased by: check to Greater Midwest Foodways, 544 Michigan Ave, Highland Park, Illinois 60035 or use your credit card by phone 800-838-3006 or BrownPaperTickets.com. No refunds.


For more information or reservations, email greatermidwestfoodways@gmail.com or call 312-380-1665.


Cost: $25

Graue Mill

One summer morning in 1852, Fred Graue entered his mill and turned the wheel that opened the sluice gates outside. Water from Salt Creek rushed into the millrace and the wooden waterwheel began to turn for the first time. It would turn the machinery that would grind grain for the next seventy years.


Today, Graue Mill is the only operating waterwheel gristmill in the Chicago area. It has been restored to the period of 1852-1868.


Graue Mill is listed in the National Register of Historic Places since May 1975. In 1981, it was recognized as an Illinois Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers — the only gristmill designated on a national or local level, representative of an important technology and era in the history of America.


Graue Mill is one of the remaining underground railroad stations. Frederick Graue, a miller by occupation, housed slaves in the basement of his gristmill. Graue Mill’s location on Salt Creek, a tributary of the Des Plaines River, made it an ideal location for harboring slaves.



Visit the Graue Mill and Museum in Oak Brook, Illinois. Just 18 miles from the heart of Chicago, the Mill is on York Road, 1/4 mile north of Ogden Avenue, at the junction of York and Spring Roads.


Naper Settlement

Naper Settlement is an outdoor 19th century living history museum. The village tells the story of how life changed throughout the 19th century for the people of northern Illinois in towns such as Naperville.


During this era, Naper’s Settlement was transformed from a pioneer outpost in 1831 to a bustling turn-of-the century community. Through its costumed interpreters and 30 historic buildings located on the 12-acre grounds, history is brought to life.


Caroline Martin Mitchell donated her family’s Victorian mansion and surrounding 212 acres to the City of Naperville in 1936. One of her requests was that her home, built in 1883, would remain a museum in perpetuity. Today, her home has been brought back to its original Victorian splendor restored to a period of historic significance. These properties now accurately convey the residential and agricultural practices of Victorian-era society.


Naper Settlement is located 28 miles west of Chicago, close to interstates 88, 355 and 55. The museum is situated two blocks south of Jefferson Avenue, two blocks west of Washington Street, at the southwest corner of Aurora Avenue and Webster Street and across from the City of Naperville Municipal Center.


Directions to Graue Mill:
From Chicago: (morning traffic estimate: 60 minutes from downtown) I-290 W (Eisenhower)  to US-34 W/E Ogden Ave. Take the US-34 W/Ogden Ave W exit from I-294 S/Tri-State Tollway – 21 min (18.5 mi) 


Continue on US-34 W/E Ogden Ave. Drive to York Rd in York Township 2 min (0.6 mi) – 3800 York Rd 


From North:
Follow I-294 S to US-34 W/E Ogden Ave. Take the US-34 W/Ogden Ave W exit from I-294 S 24 min (26.4 mi) 


Continue on US-34 W/E Ogden Ave. Drive to York Rd in York Township


From South:
Follow I-57 N and I-294 N/Tri-State Tollway to US-34 W/Ogden Ave in Proviso Township. Take the US-34 W/Ogden Ave exit from I-294 N/Tri-State Tollway 43 min (47.9 mi)


 Continue on US-34 W/Ogden Ave. Drive to York Rd in York Township


From West:
I-88 E to US-34 W/E Ogden Ave. Take the US-34 W/Ogden Ave W exit from I-294 S


Continue on US-34 W/E Ogden Ave. Drive to York Rd in York Township


Directions from Graue Mill to Naper Settlement
(Approximately 30 minutes)


Head south on York Rd toward Spring Rd (0.2 miles)


Turn right onto US-34 W/E Ogden Ave (8.7 miles)


Turn left onto Yackley Ave (1.2 miles)


Turn right onto Maple Ave (0.9 miles)


Continue onto E Chicago Ave (2.0 miles)


Turn left onto S Washington St  (0.1 miles)


Turn right onto Aurora Ave (0.2 miles)


Turn left onto S Webster St


Destination will be on the right in 79 ft: 523 S Webster St, Naperville, IL 60540


Public Transportation:
We do our best to pick train people up and bring them to the stations. So please alert us to your needs. 


BNSF Line from Union Station 


From Union Station to Hinsdale:
Six minutes from Hinsdale station, 21 E Hinsdale Ave. Hinsdale, Illinois 60521 to Graue Mill 


Leaves Union Station at 8:50 AM arrives Hinsdale at 9:27 AM.


Earlier train leaves at 7:45 AM arriving 8:22 AM


 Hinsdale to Union Station:
Leaves Hinsdale at 12:48 PM arrives Union Station at 1:47 PM


Earlier train leaves at 10:48 AM


From Naperville to Union Station:
Ten minutes from Naper Settlement to Naperville station, 105 E. 4th Ave. Naperville, Illinois 60540


Leaves Naperville at 4:38 PM arrives Union Station at 5:28 PM. Other trains at: 2:35 PM, 3:35 PM, 4:03 PM, 5:05 PM