Buffalo Grove Lime Kiln
The marker is located at the site of the kiln, which is west of the town of Polo. It is 1,400 feet west of the Galena Trail Road and adjacent to the Burlington Northern Railroad.
The Polo Historical Society and The Illinois State Historical Society
This free-standing, perpetual-burning lime kiln was used to produce lime mortar, a product widely utilized by the building industry. The area was known as Buffalo Grove after a thriving early settlement along the Galena Trail. The region retained the name even though the community had relocated in 1855 and was renamed Polo. Mortar was made by using ropes and pulleys to raise baskets of quarried limestone to the top of the kiln where the rocks were dropped inside. To create the intense heat needed to change the rock into fine, white-powdered lime, workers fed wood into the draft shaft through the two fireboxes located on opposite sides of the kiln. The powdered lime fell into a chamber at the bottom of the kiln, where it was shoveled out and stored in barrels in the attached lime house. The ashes fell into ash pits located under each firebox. The kiln sits on the quarry floor in close proximity to the resources need for lime production. The adjacent bluffs provided the raw material and the nearby grove of trees supplied the fuel. The Polo Historical Society purchased the site in 1985 and restored the kiln to functional condition in 1993. The protective roof was not part of the original structure. The site was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.
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