Fabyan Windmill, Geneva, IL USA
The Fabyan Windmill is an authentic, working Dutch windmill dating from the 1850s located in Geneva, Illinois. The 68 feet (21 m), five-story wooden smock mill sits upon the onetime estate of Colonel George Fabyan, but is now part of the Kane County Forest Preserve District.
In 1979, the windmill was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The following year, the windmill was selected to be on a U.S. postage stamp as part of a series of five American windmills included in a stamp booklet called "WINDMILLS USA". It originally operated as a custom grinding mill.
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 York Township between Elmhurst and Oak Brook, Illinois (now Lombard, Illinois).
By the early 20th century, the windmill had fallen into a state of disrepair. In 1914, George Fabyan purchased the disused 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 York Center. 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.
George Fabyan died in 1936, and his wife died two years later. The estate was then sold by the executors of the will to the Kane County Forest Preserve District for $70,500.