Wednesday 22 July 2015

Windmills in Etzikom, Alberta July 19, 2015

Etzikom was founded in 1915. No gas station but it has a museum. I stopped at the museum. Most of the exhibits are the usual things you would expect to see. What makes this unique is they have a collection of windmills. Why windmills in the middle of nowhere? I have no answer. It is just one of those quirky things that you encounter and just cannot pass up.

Per the sign:

“Originally, windmills in North America were the slow moving, cumbersome mills of Europe, which there were two basic designs. Some were tower mills on with the “4-bladed wheel” was mounted on a swiveling cap set atop a permanent, stationary tower. The others, as this example shows, were called “Post Mills” in which the entire structure of the mill rotated on a massive wooden post in order for the blades to face the wind. Inside the mills were stones and other equipment needed for grinding grain into meal or flour. Moving slowly and requiring constant attendance by millers, these clumsy machines certainly were not adapted to pumping water or even operating machinery on a small scale.

Canada had many old style windmills, one of the best known was built in 1825 at Fort Douglas in Manitoba. Another operated outside Fort Edmonton in Alberta in the 1850’s. This example is patterned after the “Flowerdew” mills of Virginia. The “Flowerdew 100” was grinding grain and corn for meal and flour in 1629.

This mill – aptly named the “Wild Rose Mill” was designed and constructed by Peter and Gerry Tailer for their windfarm museum on Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. It was graciously gifted to the Canadian National Historic Windpower Centre by them in 1993.

The “Wild Rose” sets the stage for windpower in North America and is the “Starting Point” for this centre. You are invited to go inside the “Wild Rose” and experience the immensity of it.”

The remaining ones are North American. There are a number of more modern metal ones that I did not find as interesting. The museum was five dollars. Well worth the price. 


  1. Found it on Google Earth! Looks like an interesting place - I could spend a couple of hours there myself!

  2. I am a big fan of this place.