Germania and Zilvermeeuw Windmills

One Sunday morning in 1996 we were driving back from the dedication of an ill-fated American wind farm in the Dutch province of Groningen. (That in itself is another story; see Remarks by Paul Gipe at the Dedication of EDON’s Wind Plant at Eemshaven, the Netherlands.)

It may have been National Windmill Day—yes, there is such a thing. We were driving by the Germania mill, its giant rotor turning and its windmill flag flying, indicating it was open to the public. Naturally we had to stop for a visit. We met Gerkes and his father and, thus, began a wonderful adventure. It was a beautiful day for a Dutch miller–blue sky, a few clouds, and a good stiff breeze.

Germania is a grain-grinding stage or platform mill near the small town of Thesinge. We also visited Zilvermeeuw or the herring gull drainage mill near Onderdendam that Gerkes considered his home away from home. This is a ground sailing windmill because it is not raised on a platform and the rotor sweeps the ground.