The Fabyan windmill is an authentic, working Dutch windmill dating from the 1850s and sits upon a hill on the eastern bank of the Fox River in Geneva, Illinois. Completely refurbished and operational, the windmill is a majestic sight that complements its surroundings in what was once the estate of Colonel George Fabyan. Now part of the Kane County Forest Preserve District, the windmill grove is the most visited in the region and is a widely popular living history exhibit.
During the mid-19th century, the Fabyan Windmill was constructed by German craftsmen, Louis Blackhaus, and his brother-in-law Freidrick Brockmann, on a site at Meyers Road near 16th Street in Lombard, Illinois.
By the early 20th century, the windmill had fallen into a state of disrepair. In 1914, George Fabyan purchased the windmill for approximately $8,000 from Mrs. Fred Runge. He then had it moved to its present location in Geneva just on the east side of the Fox River, close to Illinois Route 25 in July 1915. Fabyan spent an estimated $75,000 to have it moved, reconstructed, and restored.
The Edgar E. Belding Company of West Chicago was contracted by Fabyan to move the windmill from Lombard. It was slowly dismantled piece by piece, with Roman numerals carved into the beams and braces to facilitate correct reconstruction. Some of the largest beams had to be hauled by a team of mules.
The windmill was reassembled on its present site by a Danish millwright named Rasmussen, with the assistance of John Johnson and six others from the Wilson Bros. Construction Co. After nineteen months, the relocation and reconstruction were completed. The mill was a wonder in its day, because it is thought to be the only fully automatic wind-driven mill of its type.
Photo captured January 16, 2011.
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