Sunday, April 28, 2013
Lots of Wisconsin farms in the Fond du Lac area still have a windmill. This one, at my Mom's home farm near Lomira, turns and creaks and spins, just like it always did when I was a child visiting my grandparents.
The mechanism that linked the apparatus at the top to the well below is gone. There was a piece that could be fixed to the tall cast iron hand pump at the base so that the windmill would pump the water from the well. As a child, I remember that linkage still working, although we mostly used the hand pump.
Grandma Rose kept flowers growing around the concrete base where the pump sat. Probably petunias and marigolds. Maybe some four o'clocks. I remember some kind of vine growing up the tower, maybe morning glories. She always had Heavenly Blue morning glories trained up twine ladders on the side of the chicken house and might have planted their big, pea-like seeds under the windmill.
There was an old broom handle, about feet tall, that was pounded into the flower bed right at the base of the tower. An aluminum tumbler, upside down on top of the broom handle, got pulled into use when you pumped the water. A drink of water on a summer day was slightly metallic from the aluminum, but so cold and refreshing.
I'm 65 and my Dad is 92. His home place is right around the corner from this farm. We both have known this windmill all of our lives. Think how old (and sturdy) this windmill is!
Wanda Hayes Eichler