The Corner Chronicle
Chimacum, Washington, Tuesday September 18, 2018
TALL GIFT from Wilderbee Farm!
June 2nd, 2017 by Katy McCoy

Drive through Chimacum and you’ll notice something new jutting up and interrupting the familiar skyline – a gleaming 36 foot vintage Aermotor windmill!

Casey and Eric Reeter of Wilderbee Farm in Port Townsend generously gifted it to the Corner a couple years ago, and this last month Doyle Yancey of Egg and I Gardens (mechanic extraordinaire) lovingly refurbished and erected it for us.

The Reeters initially came across it online as they were planning their farm, and later decided to donate it to “downtown Chimacum” as a tribute to our area’s farming community and the growing vibrant local food movement it is inspiring. We are thrilled and super appreciative – Chimacum’s very own “Space Needle” of sorts!

One could not have picked a more iconic symbol of agriculture (and philanthropy!) in the U.S. than the Aermotor. La Verne Notes founded Aeromotor Windmill Company in 1888. It took him only 4 years to sell his first 20,000 wind powered water pumps to ranches and farms all across our country’s thirsty plains and deserts. When Notes died in 1919, the company was put into a trust benefitting 48 Universities and Colleges, and it’s been in business ever since. Today, Aermotor still builds the same model windmill as the vintage one that’s anchored to concrete blocks deep under our parking lot.

As to the history of our windmill, we presume it was made for a certain John L Clement of Hettinger, North Dakota (his name and town being stenciled on the tower). The Reeters got it from a retired long haul truck driver near Snohomish who traded for it “somewhere in the Dakotas” and trucked it back.

Now it’s HERE. May it spin merrily for decades to come!

We know your next question: “What is it going to pump?”. We’re not sure yet. Something good – a water feature of sorts? Pass any ideas along. We’re thinking Doyle can make it happen!