New Hartford, Minnesota
"Old Rush" Mill and Historic Site

Come for a visit! Please stay for a lifetime!

The "Old Rush" Windmill was a large and complicated machine built for the simple purpose of grinding small grains.

The "Old Rush" was a typical 1870's windmill: a narrow, two-story house balanced on an oak post and fitted with four 26-foot frames rigged with linen sails. When the wind rose--a 20- to 30-mile-per-hour breeze was best--the miller pivoted the house to catch it. Steve Reuter and Robert W. Miller were the first "Millsteers" at this site.

The sails spun a shaft mated to a geared wheel of 51 teeth called a rack. The rack drove a perpendicular wooden cage gear called a pinion. The pinion turned a shaft that spun a running millstone against a fixed bedstone below. Wheat and corn fed through a hopper between the stones emerged as flour and meal.

Keeping the running stone turning from 105 to 110 times a minute--was tricky and dangerous. For his trouble, the miller got a sixth of what he ground.

The "Old Rush" Windmill is located off North Road and is open to the public 9 am to 9 pm from May 1 through September 30 each year. The Mill is in operation on weekends from mid-June through September.

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© Stan Johnson, 1995*