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Article updated: 10/20/2013 4:56 PM

Historic windmill arrives back home in Elgin

On the site of its original manufacture, a 91-year-old windmill was dedicated Sunday in Foundry Park in Elgin. The windmill is a relic from the Elgin Wind, Power and Pump Co., which closed in 1948. It was donated to Maurice Dyer and the Elgin Area Historical Society and refurbished by windmill expert Frank Engel and volunteers.

On the site of its original manufacture, a 91-year-old windmill was dedicated Sunday in Foundry Park in Elgin. The windmill is a relic from the Elgin Wind, Power and Pump Co., which closed in 1948. It was donated to Maurice Dyer and the Elgin Area Historical Society and refurbished by windmill expert Frank Engel and volunteers.

 

John Starks | Staff Photographer

Maurice Dyer, an Elgin Historical Society board member, speaks Sunday at the dedication of a 91-year-old windmill at Foundry Park in Elgin. The windmill is a relic from the Elgin Wind, Power and Pump Co., which closed in 1948. It was donated to the Elgin Area Historical Society and refurbished by windmill expert Frank Engel.

Maurice Dyer, an Elgin Historical Society board member, speaks Sunday at the dedication of a 91-year-old windmill at Foundry Park in Elgin. The windmill is a relic from the Elgin Wind, Power and Pump Co., which closed in 1948. It was donated to the Elgin Area Historical Society and refurbished by windmill expert Frank Engel.

 

John Starks | Staff Photographer

Windmill expert Frank Engel, middle with hat, listens Sunday at the dedication of a 91-year-old windmill at Foundry Park in Elgin. The windmill is a relic from the Elgin Wind, Power and Pump Co., which closed in 1948.

Windmill expert Frank Engel, middle with hat, listens Sunday at the dedication of a 91-year-old windmill at Foundry Park in Elgin. The windmill is a relic from the Elgin Wind, Power and Pump Co., which closed in 1948.

 

John Starks | Staff Photographer

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It's 65 feet tall, 5,000 pounds of galvanized steel, 91 years old and finally home.

A historic windmill has come full circle and is spinning on the site of its original manufacture at Elgin's Foundry Park.

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The windmill, called The Suburban Giant when it was built by Elgin Wind, Power and Pump Co., was donated to the Elgin Area Historical Society nine years ago when the homeowner of the property where it had stood wanted it gone. It continued to pump water at that site, at the corner of Larkin and McLean avenues in Elgin, until 1990.

"When we first got it, we didn't know what we were going to do with it," said Maurice Dyer, a member of the Elgin Historical Society Board and the project's leader. "But we couldn't pass it up."

The relic was stored in sections on the Hampshire farm of windmill expert Frank Engel since 2004. Late this summer, Engel and his volunteer crew delivered the windmill -- in three trailers -- to Foundry Park and began process of installing back at the original site of the Elgin Wind, Power and Pump Co., which closed in 1948.

The years of preparation culminated Sunday with the official dedication at the windy park.

"We're happy to have it stand tall and proud as it represents our city," said George Rowe, president of the Elgin Area Historical Society. He released a lock that held the windmill from turning as other board members and dignitaries cut a ribbon to officially dedicate the windmill.

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