Windmills of Washington State
As far as I can tell, there are no real windmills in Washington State.
However, as a state with a large Dutch immigrant population, there are a
number of areas that have chosen to celebrate their historical ties, and
to build fake windmills, with varying levels of attention to detail.
Marymoor Park, Redmond
This is not a particularly accurate representation of a windmill, particularly
as regards the sails which have a strange circular fitting at their centre.
There are reports that the mill was once functional, and used to pump water
for the historic Clise Mansion, though that looks unlikely with its current
sails. (The mill is however ideally situated to hide the electric pumps that
could well have done the pumping!)
As it's located just down the road from Microsoft's headquarters, it's
interesting to note that it's used as a sample image many times in the
documentation for Microsoft's Digital Image Suite - presumably the authors just
nipped out to the local area to get photos when they were writing these
Update: Dec 2003
A historical photo
that I've only recently become aware of shows the building adjacent to the
river, and indeed with apparently more realistic sails, so perhaps the
building was historically driven by wind. A
of the farm in the same collection is hand dated as 1914, and shows the mill
at its far right hand side.
Windmill de Wijn - Lynden
Lynden is a particularly strongly themed Dutch town, and features an
outwardly acurate looking windmill as a corner pin of its main street.
"Windmill de Wijn" was constructed in 1987, to the design of Robert Libolt,
with Craig Engels as construction superintendant, Doug Campbell as engineer,
and with fabrication by Lynden Sheet Metal. That last reference should give
you a clue that all is not as it seems - much of the structure substitutes
metal where wood might have been expected - for example the sails are
Inside the building, the ground floor is run as a gift shop full of all sorts
of Dutch and windmill themed items, whilst the upper 3 floors are run as The
Dutch Village Inn hotel, with bedrooms in the mill body (including large
hot tubs - so the structure does need to hold a lot of weight). The mill is
variously described as "working", which means only that the sails are
rotated by a motor daily until 10pm - with lights outlining them to make
them quite a sight at night.
Windmill Motel - Lynden
A representational windmill atop this motel on the main road just outside
Lynden - other windmills
As you might expect, there are all manner of small windmills to be found
scattered around this Dutch themed town. Some of these are mere "garden
ornaments" whereas others represent many hours of construction.
Oak Harbor - Beach Park
A free standing replica windmill stands near the beach at Oak Harbor.
Oak Harbor - Auld Holland Inn
This hotel has a somewhat fanciful windmill shaped landmark tower. There is
also a waterwheel on another part of the hotel fantasy structure.
These are at least devices that really worked using wind power.
Wind power is beginning to be utilized in Washington State for both small scale
and potentially large scale applications to generate electricity.
Other mills in Washington State
Cedar Creek watermill
This mill dates from 1876 (though has been rebuild substantially since). It
occupies a most picturesque site along side a recently constructed covered
bridge, and is able to grind.
Cider mill - Camlann
Camlann is a reconstructed medieval village, a short drive inland from Seattle.
A recent addition to the village is a horse or animal powered cider mill.
This consists of a large edge runner stone which rotates in a trough to crush
apples ready to be squeezed to make cider.
Text and images © Mark Berry,