the timeline to discover the progress of the Hawes Elevator from a derelict fire
hazard, to Illinois' only fully restored, wooden grain elevator museum listed
on the National Register of Historic Places.
1988 — Abandoned since 1976, the City of Atlanta prepares to put the
Hawes Elevator to the torch for fire department practice. Local citizens step
in to stop the destruction and establish an agricultural museum. The Atlanta
Historical Preservation Council is formed to oversee this effort.
1991 — The Elevator is listed on the National Register of Historic
places, the first of its kind in Illinois. The Atlanta Historical Preservation
Council begins fund raising efforts to restore the elevator to working condition.
1993 — The foundation of the original wooden scale house and brick
engine house are unearthed during site stabilization and clean-up. One year later
a replica of the engine house is reconstructed. Five years later, a period wooden
scalehouse, originally used by the Cracker Jack CompanyŽ of Chicago, is donated
by The Stanford Grain Company of Stanford, IL. and moved to the site.
1996 — The Elevator is recognized by the University of Illinois Graduate School of Architecture as an excellent example of a Victorian era, heavy-timber, stud-constructed, rural country grain elevator. Graduate students, under the direction of Dr. John Garner, produce "Historic American Buildings Survey" drawings of the Elevator which are then archived in the Library of Congress.
1999 — Restored to its original condition, the J. H. Hawes Grain Elevator
is dedicated as a museum and opened to the public on July 17, 1999.
2004 — A 100th Birthday Celebration, complete with birthday cake, is held for the Elevator. Descendants of John Hardin Hawes join local citizens and visitors from across Illinois for ceremonies that included designation of the Elevator as a Central Illinois Landmark.