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Blowin’ in the wind(mill)

Jan 30th 2013



For all you smarties out there: What is the difference between a “Windmill” and a “Wind Turbine”. Give up? One of them looks like it is ready to take flight with a few disturbing alien creatures on board, and the other is a graceful nod to the past when our forefathers built these beautiful structures to garner energy for pumping water or milling grains. Our friends at Fort Ross along with California-based architecture firm Page & Turnbull just brought a historic windmill into the 21st century with the launch of the Fort Ross Windmill Project. The windmill is a full-size replica of the 19th century mill that once stood on the Russian settlement that is now Fort Ross State Historic Park. The structure consists of pine, spruce and birch wood native to Russia and measures approximately 25 feet wide, 17 feet deep, and 31 feet high. Fort Ross was the hub of the southernmost Russian settlements in North America, was founded in 1812 by the Russian-American Company to promote fur trade. Reviving the spirit, the windmill replica which was fabricated in Russia using archaic materials and methods, arrived at Fort Ross in early September and has since been assembled and erected as a permanent exhibit.

Want some hands-on experience with this historic structure? Join the friends of the Fort Ross Windmill for their monthly "windmill turning" where they spin the blades, rotate the millhouse, and learn a little more about this wonderful structure. Wind permitting, they may even grind some grain. Hot coffee and munchies will be supplied!! Dates are February 9th and March 9th at 1:00 PM. Just 5 minutes or so south of Timber Cove Inn. For more information Email them at with questions. BYOHH - Bring Your Own Hard Hat, if you've got one.