Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Gratiot County Dutch Windmill

Last weekend I had ventured up to the Maple River State Game Area to do some photography.  On my way home, I traveled couple back roads to avoid trying to get back on US-127 on a busy Sunday afternoon.  Just south of the game area, as I was driving down State Road right before you hit the Clinton County line, I noticed what appeared to be a Dutch windmill to the west.  It appeared to be out in a field pretty far off the main road.  When I got home, I looked at the satellite maps and saw that it actually resided on a public road.

When Valerie and I drove back from the cabin this weekend, I diverted our trip down Wilson Road to see if we could get closer to the windmill.  We were able to drive right along the yard where it stands.  We met the daughter of the man that built it as we were admiring this unique sight.  He started the construction in 1976 after a family trip to see the windmill in Holland, Michigan.  She said he finally completed it in 2008.  She said her family is not Dutch and that this project was started pretty much on a whim.

The windmill is just north of the Gratiot-Clinton County line on the Gratiot County side.  You can visit it by going north on US-127 and turning left (west) onto Wilson Road.  Bellingar Meat Packing is also on this road, so just turn where you see the signs to turn for that.  Follow Wilson Road for a couple of miles until it makes a jog to the right (north).  You need to turn left (south) at this junction onto the gravel road.  Follow the narrow gravel road for just a short distance around two bends and you will drive right past the windmill.  This is a public road, but the property is obviously private.  We were lucky that the daughter was there and she let us walk up close to it.  It is very large, so you can still get a good look at it from the road.  The GPS coordinates are 43.133955, -84.600148.

2 comments:

  1. Does the windmill part actually go around or is it stationary?

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  2. She said the blades turn in the wind when they are not tethered, which they were that day. You can see the tether wires faintly in the photographs. I could not determine whether the top pivots like the real ones do.

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