ASME-Landmark:Graue Mill


Designed and built by Fred Graue, a German immigrant, together with William Asche, the Old Graue Mill began operating around 1852 and served the village of Brush Hill (Hinsdale) until World War I. Its undershot waterwheel, wooden gearing system, belt power transmission, bucket elevators, and related bolters and sifters were representative of an ancient technology that began with Roman engineer Vitruvius.

The brick mill was 45 feet by 28 feet in size, three stories high with a basement. Graue put in two runs of buhrs, and the mill machinery was installed by a millwright brought from New York. The brick in the building was made from clay taken from Graue's farm and burned ina kiln near the site. The stone for foundations and trim came from a limestone quarry near Lemont, Illinois, and the timbers for posts, girders, and joists are of white oak.

The mill ground wheat, corn, oats, and buckwheat in an era that was on the threshold of the Industrial Revolution. During the Civil War, it made syrup from cane and, as late as 1893, had a hydraulic cider press installed. The mill dam also served as a resource for Hinsdale's ice industry in the summer.

Water power was supplemented by steam power in the early 1870s. The grist mill's restoration in 1950 makes it one of the few survivors of typical mill machinery design, when wood was the principal material used for machine construction. See ASME website for more information