Preserving and Promoting the Heritage Sites of the
Fullersburg Historic Foundation
A plan has been approved to remove the historic Graue Mill Dam and to move the channel of Salt Creek, eliminating the millpond. The foundation opposes this project and encourages you to express your opinion, as well. For further information and contact sources, click on PDF icon, right.
Save the Graue Mill Dam!
Don Fuller about Fullersburg's Heritage
Graue Mill Dam photo by Bruce Nudd
On 10/6/2020, the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County Commissioners voted 5-2 to grant a license to remove the dam and alter the channel of Salt Creek for approximately a mile above the dam. There are documented Native American burial mounds along the creek in Fullersburg. The mill, millpond, and dam illustrate the rich history of this location dating to Fullersburg's Settlement Era, and this area played an important role as part of the Underground Railroad. Covid pandemic conditions limited the open public exchange of opinions about this controversial issue.
Fullersburg Historic Foundation President Don Fuller writes, "Please consider opposing the removal of the dam and actively support the Historic Fullersburg Gateway legally identified as such in an agreement between Oak Brook and the Village of Hinsdale, so it can be a truly educational and scenic experience tomorrow as it has been for almost two hundred years." Bonnie Sartore, President of Graue Mill Museum Board of Directors, writes, "The area surrounding the Mill, the Frederick Graue House and the dam itself are all part of the most often visited Forest Preserve District facilities in DuPage County." You can express your opinion by writing to the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign a petition expressing your opposition to the removal of the dam is at http://chng.it/8hC2FYHm8D. An overview of the interconnected nature of this historic area can be found in Fullersburg Chronicles in "For You" or "Suggested Reading" on this site.
The Fuller Family Legacy is the cover story in the June/July, 2022 issue of Hinsdale Magazine, which details the lasting contributions of the Fullers from Ben (the founder of Fullersburg) to the current generations of this family, who continue to shape the identity of this area. As William Baker states, "Yes, the solid family has always been there keeping Hinsdale ...Hinsdale." View article at
Presentation at Graue Mill Tent 6/5/22
Fullersburg Historic Foundation President Don Fuller and Director Sue Devick spoke on 6/5/22 at historic Graue Mill about the Potawatomi village of Sauganakka, the Native American burial mounds in the area, the Black Hawk War, and the changes brought by the Settlement Era. Photos courtesy of Bruce Nudd (right). Click the icon for presentation outline.
Author Liz Heinecke presented Don Fuller with a
signed copy of her highly acclaimed book Radiant
at the Hinsdale Library on 6/28/22 (see photo, left). Ms. Heinecke led a literary and historic discussion about the enduring friendship between Nobel prize winning scientist Marie Curie and world-famous dancer Loie Fuller, who was born at the Castle Inn
in Fullersburg in 1862. Both women impacted early twentieth-century history; Marie's research with radiation led to life-saving discoveries as well as radiation illness, and Loie's innovative use of light
in her elaborate costumes and choreography were an inspirational force in the Art Nouveau Movement. Ms. Heinecke generously donated several artifacts related to Loie Fuller to the Fullersburg Historic Foundation. Don Fuller, president of the foundation, expressed his deep gratitude to Ms. Heinecke, as both Loie and Don are descendants of Benjamin Fuller, the founder of Fullersburg. Find out more about Liz Heinecke's research about Loie at: https://www.grandcentralpublishing.com/titles/liz-heinecke/radiant/9781538717370. Radiant can be obtained through bookstores or online purchase.
Sue Devick and Elissa Fink (at right) at the Frederick Graue House in Oak Brook, Il.
Presentation about Shabbona
Potawatomi Chief Shabbona was the subject of a presentation by historian Sue Devick on 9/11/22, which was originally planned for the outdoor tent near historic Graue Mill. Inclement weather caused a last minute change of venue to the Frederick Graue House, seamlessly managed by Executive Director Elissa Fink. After a moment of silence for the victims and first responders of 9/11, a capacity group of diverse guests discussed the life and times of Potawatomi Chief Shabbona, who warned the settlers about Black Hawk's plans for war in 1832. Thank you for your continued interest in the Settlement Era of this unique area.
The Annual Memorial Day Tribute at Historic Fullersburg Cemetery was on 5/30/22; Don Fuller read the names of veterans who have been laid to rest at this serene site while sons Michael and Tyler changed the flag (right). Those who participated in the Underground Railroad (such as John Coe, who married Harriet Fuller, sister of Benjamin, the founder of Fullersburg) and Civil War veterans are buried here. A Confederate soldier, John Andre, was also given an engraved headstone.
Note underground tunnels that connected Fullersburg structures as part of the Underground Railroad as well as the related activities of John Coe, husband of Harriet Fuller (sister of Benjamin Fuller). The Graue Mill Museum features numerous maps, displays, and artifacts that detail the important role of Fullersburg citizens such as Frederick Graue, John Coe, and the Fox Brothers who assisted fugitive slaves in their journey to freedom. Articles courtesy of Graue Mill Museum. For more information, see "Events" section of this website.
Benjamin Fuller forged a friendly relationship with the local Potawatomi, and he showed them how to shoe their horses. Although the Native Americans who lived in this area did not have a written language, there is evidence of their presence here.
"For as long as I can remember the people of Fullersburg were particularly fascinated by the two circular mounds about eight feet high and fifteen feet in diameter which were said to mark the burial site of tribal chiefs. The area, known as the "wiccibottom,"is now the forest preserve parking lot... Remaining, perhaps are archeological sites, yet to be explored."
George Ruchty, Ben Fuller descendant
"The old dam was 2 feet higher than it is today. The Indian mounds are still there. We could have picked up bushels of Indian arrow heads at this place and all around it." George Kolzow
Inset of Scharf map details Native American village, camps, chipping station, and burial mounds in Fullersburg. (See For You section, above.) The first Fuller cabin was built near one of the known chipping stations (where tools and weapons were created).
Don and Kathy Fuller display arrowheads from the George Ruchty collection found in the Fullersburg area, where tools and weapons were made. To learn more about the artifacts from Old Fullersburg, see the
"Events" section, above.
Don Fuller is the great, great grandson of Benjamin Fuller, the founder of Fullersburg. Don is also the president of the Fullersburg Historic Foundation. "The mission of the foundation, working in partnership with the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, is to raise funds to restore the Ben Fuller Farmhouse and develop educational programs and exhibits. We continue to promote and support the preservation of the Fullersburg Historic District and its heritage sites."
President - Don Fuller
Vice President - Patrice Macken
Secretary - Lynnette Ruiz
Treasurer- Patrice Macken
Susan Devick, editor
Dr. Erlo Roth
Thank you to our partners that help make the preservation of these historic sites possible.