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Preserving and Promoting the Heritage Sites of the Fullersburg Historic Foundation

Your Donation to Fullersburg Historic Foundation Helps to Preserve History

 Why is the traditional Memorial Day flag-changing   ceremony at Historic Fullersburg Cemetery so moving? Where else can you see a Confederate soldier laid to rest among the Civil War gravesites of Union soldiers?

Donations will be used to help cover the administration expenses of the foundation. The mission statement of our organization is summarized in the headline at the top of this page, and the activities shown throughout this website demonstrate our dedication to this effect. We want to preserve and promote the important history that happened in and around Fullersburg!

Fullersburg Historic Foundation is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization; your donation is tax-deductible within the guidelines of U.S. law. To claim your donation as a tax deduction on your taxes, please keep your receipt. Upon the successful completion of your donation, a receipt will be emailed to you. (No goods were exchanged or services rendered for the donation unless otherwise noted.)  Thank you for your generosity!

Below: listen to Don Fuller, great-great grandson of Benjamin Fuller (founder of Fullersburg) tell the history of this area:

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 Gravesite of John A. Andre, Confederate
soldier who received donated headstone

Don Fuller reads the names of veterans while his sons Tyler and Michael change the flag.

Gravesite of Morell Fuller, Union soldier

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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 strong 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/9781538717370Radiant can be obtained through bookstores or online purchase. 

Why aren't all  Native American burial sites in DuPage County (Il,) recognized and appreciated?

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Fullersburg (Sauganakka) is the largest of four former Potawatomi villages in DuPage County, and its Native American burial mounds are documented in numerous archeological and historical sources that consistently authenticate their existence. This legacy of our past offers a fuller and richer understanding of our identity, which Fullersburg Historic Foundation recognizes.
Note: While the widely known Scharf Map (inset, above) recognizes burial mounds in both Fullersburg and Glen Ellyn, another historic map of DuPage County also notes Bonaparte (Lisle) as having at least one mound.  Mounds at Winfield also have been restored, the only burial site acknowledged
by some DuPage County officials.

See slide show presentation about the Native Americans and the Settlement Era in DuPage County
by clicking on icon, below right. 

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Note (in articles above) that secret tunnels beneath Fullersburg structures were part of the Underground Railroad. Important roles were played by local citizens, including Frederick Graue, the Fox Brothers, and John and Harriet Coe (sister of Benjamin Fuller), who assisted fugitive slaves on their journey to freedom. The basement of Graue Mill (left) also was a "stop" in this secretive transportation system, which was active here from approximately 1850-1865.

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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. Click on icon for more information and contact sources.

Photo of Graue Mill Dam 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 forest@dupageforest.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.

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Foundation Gives Historical Presentation at Graue Mill Tent 

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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. Note: THIS PRESENTATION ALSO DETAILS SOME OF THE VARIATIONS IN THE HISTORICAL INFORMATION DOCUMENTING THE NATIVE AMERICAN BURIAL MOUMD LOCATIONS IN FULLERSBURG!

Benjamin Fuller forged a friendly relationship with the local Potawatomi, and he showed them how to shoe their horses. Although Native Americans who lived in this area did not have a written language, there is evidence of their presence here. The first Fuller homesite was built near a "chipping station," where indigenous people made their tools and weapons.

 

Burial sites are also documented in the Fullersburg area. "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, former Fullersburg caretaker)

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Executive Board of Fullersburg Historic Foundation 

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."  
 

Officers

President - Don Fuller

Vice President - Patrice Macken

Secretary - Lynnette Ruiz

Treasurer- Lynnette Ruiz

Directors

John Baar

Robert Crane

Susan Devick, editor

Kathleen Fuller

Marci Hanzlik

Dr. Erlo Roth

Kathleen Sievertsen

Susan Yochim

Advisors

Richard Allison

Mike Dutka

Charles Hartley

Matt Stockmal

Sheila Susman-Scheftner

Partners

 

Thank you to our partners that help make the preservation of these historic sites possible.

 

 

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