40 E. Railroad Ave.
Grayslake, IL 60030
1922-1982 (as Grayslake Gelatin; buildings on property date as early as 1904)
Abandoned small-town industrial site with buildings comprising of a former fruit cannery (1904), a dairy cannery (1912) and an office building. The dairy cannery was repurposed and incorporated as Grayslake Gelatin in 1922, its founder inventing the concept of using animal hides instead of bones for gelatin production. The other buildings on the property were later absorbed into the operation. Manufacturing ceased here in 1982 amid the energy crisis, however the company has continued business as Great Lakes Gelatin since 1988. This facility was reused by several businesses into the aughts, who allowed it to fall into a severe state of decay (becoming the source of lore, growing up). The site was finally abandoned, purchased by the Village of Grayslake in 2015, and cleared at the turn of 2017.
Status: DEMOLISHED 2017, site converted into a park with the restored smokestack as its centerpiece.
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Loot: product and labels left behind when the plant shut down, site plans, research notes, bricks, file cabinet full of vintage maps and travel guides.