Friday, June 4, 2010

Return of the windmill

Lucas County Historical Society board members Ron Christensen, Warren Wallace, Rod Peterson and Bill Marner were at work first thing Tuesday morning on the next step needed to return the museum windmill to useful life after it was damaged some time ago during a storm.

Ron brought the steel tower that supports the windmill head into town from his metalworking shop last week after repairing damage to it and welding on a triangular base. On Tuesday, he delivered the mounting platform he also crafted and the men went to work. That's the new blacksmith shop, still under construction, in the background to the north.

Using spades and post-hole diggers, holes were dug for the platform's legs, concrete poured, the platform moved into place, leveled and left to rest while the concrete cured. When the tower is raised, its base will be bolted securely onto the platform. The windmill head, the business end of this highly efficient device that once was one of hundreds on farms across Lucas County, also will be reassembled and mounted.

Ron developed this mounting technique while moving the windmill from the farm his wife, Doris, grew up on south of Russell and re-erecting it at their home northwest of Chariton.

The new location for the windmill, formerly south of the barn in an area that had become practically invisible as buildings were added, will be on the slope west of the barn, clearly visible from the patio and elsewhere on the museum campus.

Early arrivals were (from left) Rod, Warren and Ron. Bill arrived a little later after completing another volunteer project elsewhere in town.

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