Cornmeal is expected to be on Graue Mill's shelves again as soon as Wednesday afternoon.
The stone-ground cornmeal won't be produced by the museum's 161-year-old water wheel gristmill, but it will be as close as millers can get for $6,000.
"I just placed the order for the (temporary replacement) grinder so it should be shipping today from North Carolina," mill Vice President Rus Strahan said Thursday afternoon. "Hopefully it will arrive Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning. We'll be setting it up on Tuesday and hopefully grinding on Wednesday."
Strahan said the new grinder's 12-inch stone wheel will give him the ability to produce cornmeal very near the consistency of the gristmill.
The new grinder is necessary to allow the mill to resume production of cornmeal as its primary source of revenue. Grinding at the mill stopped earlier this month after a structural analysis found the gear system and heavy timber supports used in the process were unsafe.
A more permanent repair may not come until late September and would have meant millers would have lost nearly the entire April 1 through Nov. 10 milling season.
Once the larger-scale mill work is complete, which could cost the DuPage Forest Preserve District as much as $20,000, Strahan said the new grinder will be kept on reserve.
"We could also use it to grind off-season if we had orders to fill," Strahan said. "Then we wouldn't need to reassemble the mill for just a few orders."
Strahan was given permission by the mill's board of directors to spend the $6,000. Tuesday morning. The forest preserve board, which owns the mill and whose members have expressed a willingness to help it get back on its feet, will weigh Strahan's proposal to refund the mill the entire cost of the $6,000 grinder.
"You'll never get it if you don't ask for it," Strahan said. "The forest preserve has been great to us and they've promised to help. Tuesday we'll just see how much."