The only working Dutch windmill in the United States just happens to reside in Michigan: the “Windmill De Zwann (Graceful Bird)” in Holland. The town of Holland bought the windmill in 1964 from a retired person in the Netherlands.

But how to get this behemoth all the way to Michigan? It was dismantled and shipped in sections. It first went to Muskegon, then taken to Holland.

Okay, so Holland bought a true working windmill. Now what? Where is it gonna go? A farmer by the name of Henry Koop had farmland along the Macatawa River. It simulated a peninsula – so a canal was cut through the 'base' and turned the peninsula into an island. Originally named 'Hyma Island', it was re-christened 'Windmill Island' and became Holland's new tourist attraction.

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The new park opened in 1965 with this old windmill (built in 1770) as it's centerpiece. It stands 125 feet tall from the bottom to the very tip of the blade when it's at its highest peak. The park has many other family-friendly amenities like a playground, gift shop, snacks here and there, and more.

The photo gallery below takes you inside the windmill to all floors. Keep in mind, this windmill is still in operation. The first floor is where the grain is received. The second floor is for packaging; bran is separated from the flour, which is then packaged and freezer-stored. The third floor is for storage. The top floor takes you out onto the catwalk where you can walk around the windmill just underneath the blades. Then back down and out.

Take a look for yourself and keep in mind: it is the only working Dutch windmill in the United States!

Inside the De Zwaan Windmill, Holland


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The Old Mills of Michigan

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