Monday, November 17, 2008

My World Tuesday

Shattuck Windmill Museum & Park was established in 1994 and dedicated in May 1996, with a gathering of old windmillers and community volunteers. It is situated in north-west Oklahoma and is very much a local landmark.

As of November 2008, 52 windmills stand in the park, with no two alike, ranging from a little 5ft. Star Zephyr to the big 18 ft. Samson and Railroad Eclipse. Some of the mills are open-geared, some have solid or folding wood wheels, many are unusual steel mills.

But all have lifted water from beneath the earth to provide for a homesteader's garden or a rancher's cattle. Each one has it's own story and a book can be found in the little authentic Mercantile Store, containing the history of each one.

The focus of the park is not only the windmills, but also shows how homesteaders lived when they first came to this area, and why the windmill was so important.

Included in the Park is a small half-dugout soddy (sod-house) which was moved from 7 miles south-west of town. It was reconstructed to give a glimpse of how many of the early settlers lived. All year round visitors are encouraged to record the temperature in the soddy in a logbook. It is fascinating to see how the temperature holds relatively steady inside, whatever the weather outside!

In 1997 the one-and-a-half storey homestead house was moved into the Park. The restored home typifies the frame structure that an early family would have built, once they had moved up from their "soddy". A local family raised their four children in this particular homestead. The home consisted of a lean-to, living-dining room and the parent's bedroom. Up the very narrow staircase was a large open attic, where the children would sleep.

The gates of Windmill Park are made of Oklahoma red granite, are seven feet tall and depict two of the earliest windmills. They anchor a brick wall showing the names of many of the local homesteaders, ranchers and merchants, and the date of their arrival. It is facinating to read these names and recognise the grandparents and parents of local people I know now.

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10 comments:

DJ Kirkby said...

This was very interesting and perfect timing as I am deeply involved in writing a Western novel at the moment.

Sailor Girl said...

Traditional windmills!!!! I remember them here in Lisbon but they disappeared!!!

WONDERFUL POST, THANK YOU!!!!!

Your EG Tour Guide said...

Very cool museum! Amazing how ary windmills can look.

Mojo said...

Heh. And I'm just guessing that the owners of those landmark windmills had a significantly smaller carbon footprint than those that followed.

Makes you wonder why we think that just because an idea was thought of a hundred years ago that it's "outdated" now?

I'd love to see a photo of the "soddy". I owned a condo that was similar in concept once. It was on the ground floor, and one whole side of it was effectively below ground level. Since it wasn't an end unit, I also had neighbors on both sides, meaning the only exterior wall that was exposed to the weather was the one on the front of the house. My utility bills rarely ever got to three places left of the decimal point even during the worst of summer or winter. And in some months, when the weather was mild I could run my all-electric home for under $50. Even adjusting for inflation (I sold the place in 1996) that's still a bargain!

Not much of a view though.

PNF Photography said...

these are wild and amazing

Digital Polaroids said...

Thanks for sharing your world, you chosed beautiful pictures and windmills

chrome3d said...

That place looked so great. The windmills make brilliant silhouettes against the bright skies.

lynn said...

Gosh what a different landscapes for us Brits to see. Lovely shots.
Greetings from one Brit girl to another! x

Pearl Maple said...

Cool photos, interesting to see so many windmills in one place. Sure there might be new areodynamic ones coming out all the time but nothing like these tradditional styled windmills. Thanks for sharing your photos and your kind comments on my blog.

PJ said...

That is absolutely amazing, each one is a seperate and beautiful sculpture.