De Zwaan – Windmill Island
November 27, 2006
This photo is one of a nice set of Holland, Michigan photos by Norm Hoekstra (makes a nice desktop background too!)
Wikipedia’s entry for Windmill Island says that the the 245-year-old windmill De Zwaan, Dutch for “the swan” or “graceful bird”, is the only authentic, working Dutch windmill in the United States:
In 1964, the City of Holland purchased the windmill De Zwaan from a retired miller in the town of Vinkel in the province of Noord Brabant, the Netherlands. The windmill was shipped from the Netherlands to the port of Muskegon, Michigan on the ship Prins Willem van Oranje. It was brought by truck from Muskegon to its present location on Windmill Island. Reconstruction of the mill began in 1964 and the park opened in April of 1965. The island, formerly farmed by Henry F. Koop, was chosen because of the favorable wind conditions there. Although originally a peninsula, a manmade canal turned the land into an assisted island. Before the arrival of De Zwaan, it was known as Hyma Island.
The Windmill has an article that goes more in-depth on this structure’s history. Flickr offers some pictures of windmills in Zandaam (where this one hails from). More info can be found in the City of Holland’s Windmill Island pages.