Custom Windmills

Gray Windmill


Addison Street and Milwaukee Avenue

Old Irving Park / Grayland
Chicago, IL 60641


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Destroyed by owner, 1910


Richard Mates (? - ?)

John Gray (? - 1910)


Only known history comes from a file in the Schiller Park Historical Commission: “The original frame homestead of Sheriff John Gray on Milwaukee Avenue, (Near Addison Ave.) was torn down in 1910 and with it went a familiar landmark, the old windmill.  Its sails never had revolved since Richard Mates, a hardy octogenarian from Wicklow, had transported it from the vicinity of Haymarket and the vanished shot-tower, its end was peace—pieces of firewood.”
The infamous area known as the Haymarket is now known as the “spaghetti bowl,” where I-90/94 and I-290 meet, near the University of Illinois at Chicago and Greektown on the Near West Side.  The “shot-tower” was part of a factory owned by Nathaniel H. Blatchford.  His company was the Chicago Shot and Oil Works, which made ammunition and other combustible substances.
It goes on to say that the land is now occupied by the Schurz High School, which some thought should have been named the John Gray High School.  The Metra stop still reads “Grayland,” which the area was called before it became Irving Park and, inevitably, Chicago.

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