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Sagamore Hill NHS will receive $219,000 to replace its failing windmill as part of the economic stimulus program from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. This money is part of a $750 million package that will be used for 800 projects across the National Park Service throughout the country.
“These projects are an investment in America’s future that will create jobs, stimulate the economies of local communities, and get our country moving again,” Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said. “They are also an investment in telling the story of America to future generations through our national parks by conserving our awe-inspiring landscapes, our rich culture, and our great heritage.”
The current windmill at Sagamore Hill was reconstructed in 1971 according to the NPS specifications based on the written and photographic documentation of the circa 1905 windmill at Sagamore Hill. The sixty-foot high wooden structure holds a twelve-foot metal wheel and tail. Time, weather and the salt air have taken their toll on the wooden tower and it is beyond repair. The structure and windmill mechanicals will be replaced according to the Historic Structure Report held by the NPS.
Theodore Roosevelt built his home in 1885 with all the modern technology available of that day. However, there was no electricity power here, so the windmill was used to pump water from the well to a holding tank on the third floor of the home in order to provide running water for the kitchen and bathrooms in the house. Windmills used to dot the landscape, but whether built of metal or wood they have been removed in our area as they deteriorated and became unsafe.
It is interesting to note that wind power, once a reliable source of energy used to pump water for farmers, is once again being used supply energy for creating electrical power. Sagamore Hill is investigating the possibility of capturing the wind energy produced to create electricity; but it is not know at this time if this is a viable possibility.
Although the current windmill or its replacement will no longer pumps water, it helps to tell the story of life in a bygone day. The replacement windmill will use new mechanicals from the same company as the failing structure.
At this time there is no official starting date, but we are looking to do this as soon as possible since the whole point of the economic stimulus is to get projects started. It is estimated that for every dollar of money invested in such a project, there is a return of four or five in terms of salaries and local tourism spending. Please contact Sagamore Hill if you are a certified, bona fide, bonded windmill mechanic or builder.