Tuesday, November 26, 2019

What's With The Windmill Behind Your House?

So many drive down Michigan Avenue and see the house, but fail to see the gem in the background.
I've even had people drive up my driveway, roll down their window, and tell me they've driven by our place hundreds of times but never noticed the windmill before!
So many questions about it and I hope maybe this blog post will satisfy a little of your curiosity!

With the pressure of a wedding on our property over labor day weekend, we finally finished restoring most of the old windmill.  Here's the progress story in mostly picture form.  Enjoy!

From the Parma News 1982:

Thanks to the Lefere's (estate owners from 1963 - early 90's) for this awesome photo!
  Circa 1964:

Fast forward to 2014 when I snapped these photos when we acquired the place:

Notice the walkway is completely rotted off and the supports are mostly in a decaying heap under vines and brush.  No wonder so many people didn't know it was there!

Some very gracious people have given me copies of newspaper articles from years gone by.  Here's a snippet from an article in 1966:

To the left you can see the stairway which is still there and very sturdy.  I've taken many guests up those stairs with my cell phone flashlight. :)  To the left is the gigantic cement water tank - which is now empty!  Can you believe it?  The windmill is a facade for the water tank!  The arms never did rotate - all for show.

My Mamma Bear, livin' on the edge...

Now take a good look at the top right windmill blade in this next pic I took from my upstairs window - it's starting to go..... and eventually did come crashing down during a fierce wind in 2017.

Then we hired the Barn Cats.  Here's faithful worker Kim who spent a lot of very hot summer days at our place working and rebuilding!

My daughter and I testing out the new railing!!

And down come the three remaining blades...

Rebuilt blades:

The pictures make this look easy, but that 500 pound piece was anything BUT easy to take off!

The huge support beams going across and through the top ended up being rotten and needing replaced. In the next picture you will be able to see how they cut the top right off the peeked part to climb in through and work.

I convinced the lift operator to take me and the kids up there!!!  No way was I going to miss the one opportunity to go up there and have a look! :)
Not afraid of heights, these kids!

Sitting at the top, looking down into the tank.  There's no water in it anymore, but some of the good ole' boys I chat with in town swear there's bodies down there....  wha....?!

Such beautiful pictures, but there was a lot of unpretty language happening in these photos!

I hired my buddy Dave Crandall to paint the windmill, and then I stained some of the cedar shakes that Tim replaced so it didn't look like our windmill had the measles.  I just happened to have some stain that matched pretty good - garage sale find of course.  Bought for a quarter because "you just never know".... :)

I thought there was a picture of me standing on the railing on my tiptoes trying to reach some of those but I can't find it.  Probably a good thing with all the ruckus I caused the last time I posted a "dangerous" pic.  Haha!

Looking beautiful in our first snowfall this year!

It makes a great spot for senior pics!

These next photos are credits to: O'Malley King Michigan Wedding Photographer.

If you still have questions after this, well, first go back up and read the old newspaper clippings.  Next, send me photos, police records, and your social security number and we can arrange a visit and I'll take you up there and explain more. :)

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  1. Your property is so interesting and pretty.

  2. Wow! What an undertaking! It looks amazing now!

  3. You hit the jackpot with this property! It is SO interesting!! I love everything you share about it.


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