This 1904 grain elevator in Atlanta, Illinois, has been turned into a wonderful museum that lets you explore an earlier version of the grain elevator-railroad combination. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it is the only fully restored wooden grain elevator in Illinois.
Corn would be brought to the elevator by horse-drawn wagon, and the wagon loaded with corn would be weighed and then pulled by the horses into the grain elevator. Inside, a clever device opened a trap door and tilted the wagon, dumping all the corn into the bin revealed by the open trap door.
A friend from Bloomington/Normal had joined me for the visit to the museum. The two of us had the place to ourselves, which offered us the advantage of having the docent’s undivided attention, so we were able to ask a lot of questions.
If you find yourself in central Illinois and want to visit this delightful museum, here is their website, with information on hours and location, as well as where to get a good piece of pie while you’re in town: J.D. Hawes Grain Elevator Museum.