ASME-Landmark:Victoria Dutch Windmill


The wind-powered gristmill in Victoria, Texas, was built in 1870 by Fred Meiss, Jr., and Otto Fiek near Spring Creek, from parts of the first windmill in the new state of Texas, erected by E.G. Witte. The millstones are the ones Witte imported from Europe and are believed to be one of the earliest sets in the United States to survive.

It is similar to a Dutch turret mill, the top of which can be turned so the sails face the wind, which was common throughout 19th century Europe. Made of wood and lightweight shingle covers rather than a masonry tower, it was considered portable and most likely was moved to several locations during its years of operation.

Meiss rebuilt the mill in 1870 west of Victoria, near Coleto Creek. It soon was moved to Meiss' farm near Spring Creek, north of Victoria, where it could catch the coastal winds. The structure is 35-feet tall with four 15-foot blades. The main shaft is 20-feet long with a 15-inch diameter. Huge gears, 20-feet in diameter, drive gears attached to a wooden shaft, which in turn moves the grinding stone. The stones are capable of grinding 500 pounds of cornmeal a week. The superstructure, shafts, and log wheels are original.

This old technology, brought to the United States by new immigrants, represented the beginning of modern life in a hard wilderness. See ASME website for more information