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Article updated: 9/6/2013 10:41 AM

Windmill will be rebuilt Saturday in Elgin

Frank Engel of Hampshire worked on restoring a historic windmill that will be installed Saturday at Foundry Park in Elgin.

Frank Engel of Hampshire worked on restoring a historic windmill that will be installed Saturday at Foundry Park in Elgin.

 

Christopher Hankins | Staff Photographer

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A 91-year-old historic windmill will return to Elgin on Saturday, when it will be rebuilt at Foundry Park.

The 65-foot, 5,000-pound galvanized steel windmill was donated to the Elgin Area Historical Society nine years ago. It was built by Elgin Wind, Power and Pump Co., which closed in 1948, and remained in Elgin on a property off Larkin Avenue until 2004.

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Since then, the windmill has been stored at the Hampshire farm of windmill expert Frank Engel.

It will be brought in by three trailers to Foundry Park before 7 a.m., when the installation is scheduled to begin, Historical Society President George Rowe said. Engel will supervise six to eight volunteers, including a welder, and Kinser Crane Service of Addison will donate use of a crane, Rowe said.

Earlier this summer, 30 to 40 volunteers helped paint the windmill tower over three weekends.

"Frank is in charge," Rowe said. "If he says 'Do this,' that's what we do."

The windmill will be located about 300 feet north of Highland Avenue and 65 feet east of Route 31, near the walking path.

The Elgin City Council approved the plan in February. In the last few months, the city and the historical society worked on a legal agreement that states, among other things, the historical society will be in charge of maintaining the windmill, Rowe said. "It took a little bit of back and forth before everybody was happy with what we were doing."

Elgin History Museum Director Elizabeth Marston said she's working on educational signage that will be added to the windmill site in the near future.

There will be information about Elgin Wind, Power and Pump Co., about the use of water, wind and solar power, and about different businesses that preceded Foundry Park, such as Woodruff and Edwards Foundry and B.S. Pearsall Butter Co.

"It's going to be an icon for the community, we hope," Marston said.

The windmill's dedication is scheduled for 2 p.m. Oct. 20.

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