CLINTON — The Clinton History Club has now changed its name to the Gateway History Club. The name change will be more inclusive of the history club’s outreach in the area – where we are exploring the historic sites, historic properties, and historic buildings in Camanche, Lyons, the Clinton area and Fulton, Illinois.

On Tuesday, Sept. 14, the Gateway History Club will be traveling to Fulton to visit the Fulton Windmill and the Fulton Windmill Cultural Center. We will meet at the Windmill Cultural Center at 9 am. The Cultural Center is located at 111 10th Ave. in Fulton. Masks are required as per Illinois state rules. The admission fee to the Cultural Center is $2. The Windmill facility accepts donations for maintenance and operational expenses. The windmill is partially handicap accessible.

Fulton’s authentic Dutch Windmill, “de Immigrant”, was prefabricated in the Netherlands and erected by Dutch craftsmen on the banks of the Mississippi River. The windmill sits on the flood control dike, right in the heart of the city, and is across the street from the Windmill Museum & Cultural Center.

Standing nearly 100 feet tall, the massive timbers are assembled by wooden pegs. Dedication of the windmill took place during the Dutch Days Festival 2000.

The windmill was engineered and pre-fabricated in the Netherlands and shipped to the United States in containers by ship, rail, and truck. Dutch millwrights and masons traveled to the United States on three separate occasions and rebuilt the windmill in Fulton.

The windmill is fully operational. The entire head (or cap) can turn and the sails move by wind power. The mill is also fully functional with a set of blue basalt millstones that can produce a variety of flours. Stone-ground buckwheat, corn, rye, and wheat flours are all manufactured at “de Immigrant” and are for sale in the gift shop at the Windmill Cultural Center. The stones take up three floors with various machineries, and millers can grind approximately one bushel of grain every 10 minutes, wind permitting.

The Windmill Cultural Center houses an extensive collection of 22 European windmills that vary in size between 3 feet and 6 feet tall and are from 10 European countries. Informative interpretive exhibits provide unique information on the products produced by windmills, country of origin, windmill specifications, and the cultural impact of windmills. The Education Area features video presentations of the windmill countries and an education area contains children’s activities including coloring, puzzles, and toys promoting scientific concepts. The gift shop sells fresh stone-ground flour, Delft pottery, and souvenirs of Fulton, the Windmill Cultural Center, and the windmill. Special exhibits will be featured throughout the year.

New members are welcome to join our Fulton windmill tour. Membership in the History Club is free. Tell a relative, friend, or neighbor. We now have about 200 members on our weekly historic photo and email list.

If you know of anyone that wants to join the history club and email list you can contact Gregg Obren at gobren74@live.com or John Rowland at jrow242@gmail.com.

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