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For Love Of The Windmill

| 1/15/2014 12:20:00 PM

Country MoonAn American icon, windmills can be found dotting the countryside from shore to shore across our great land. Today, being more scenic than useful, they are a graceful reminder of simpler times. I have had a love affair with them most of my life and have enough photos to prove it.

It began when we were between farms and we were living in a house just outside Athens, Michigan. We didn’t have a barn or any other out-buildings but we had a windmill in the backyard. I made countless mud pies the summer we were there and the big base of the windmill was my “oven.” I was always in awe when the big silver blades would turn and gleam against the blue sky. I was 3 years old and I was hooked.


I have never been lucky enough since to have another windmill grace any of the places I have lived. Jim, bless his heart, knew my love for them and bought a 12-foot one a few years ago for the yard. I love it, but whenever we travel and we see the real deal we still have to stop to take pictures.

The first windmill was invented in 1854 by Daniel Halladay, a machinist in Connecticut. Its primary use was to pump water, thus it played an integral part in helping to settle the American West since the West was well-suited for raising livestock but its biggest problem was the lack of means to provide an adequate water supply.

Even though the earlier ones could turn automatically to face the changing wind direction and could control the speed of the wind wheel so they did not turn too fast and destroy themselves, they were constructed of wood and did not hold up well. Later, they were constructed of steel and were strong enough to pump water from depths of 1,200 feet.

1/14/2015 10:26:33 AM

I have an old windmill(Aero Motor) I love it the only bad thing is it's over our well so twice we have had to take one side apart for the well guy to work on our well. The first time he wanted us to take the whole thing down. It was in January and 4 foot of snow on level. Also had some guy stop by one time and ask if we wanted the junk out of the field. I asked what junk and he answered the old windmill. Hahaha he was funny.

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