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Custom Mills

Custom Mills

Learn how our ancestors used the wind to power industry - and the food supply.

Wind Engines

Wind Engines

Discover how wind power helped railroads, farms, and settlers tame the wild West.

Wind Turbines

Wind Turbines

We continue to use wind energy to power our lives in the twenty-first century.



Welcome to Illinois Windmills, a website dedicated to the history, preservation, and continuing story of windmills in Illinois. Many associate Illinois with hundreds of towering white wind turbines spread over acres of farmland.  Others may remember wind engines quietly pumping water for families in rural areas of the state. 


But what many do not know is that during the nineteenth century, Illinois’ countryside could have easily been mistaken for Holland; the state was once home to over fifty custom wind grist mills.  Sadly, only four still stand, and a fifth was constructed in 2000.


To get started, check out a custom mill profile, get answers to some frequently asked questions, learn more about the history of wind power, or contact me for more information. 

Several sites are shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Please exercise social distancing and check with your local historical society for open hours and safety protocols before considering a visit to any of these mills.

Illinois Windmills Fabyan Geneva Fischer Elmhurst De Immigrant Fulton Prairie Mills Golden Emminga Peotone Rathje

The five surviving custom windmills in Illinois.  

Click to learn more about them.

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