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Vermeer Windmill
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An Iowa town celebrates its heritage with the tallest working Dutch windmill in North America.

The people of Pella, Iowa, are incredibly proud of their Dutch heritage. And perhaps nothing in the town proclaims that more beautifully than the tallest working Dutch windmill in North America. The Vermeer Windmill was first assembled in Holland and was designed to resemble traditional 1850s Dutch grain mills. It was then taken apart and reassembled in Pella in 2002, where it sits on a four-story brick base and rises 124.5 feet, allowing it to catch the wind over the surrounding buildings.

A Working Relic

The windmill is a town icon, but it's also fully functional. Local restaurants use flour ground by the wind power it harnesses to make tasty breads and buns. Grain is brought in through double doors on the first floor of the windmill and raised through a series of trap doors to the millstones.

The windmill is used for more than grinding grain, too. The second and third floors of the windmill have museum displays, including a replica of where the miller’s family would have lived and a collection of models of various Dutch windmills.

The fifth floor offers a stunning view of the surrounding area. Similarly, the surrounding area offers picturesque views of the windmill from quite a ways away. The Vermeer Windmill makes a handsome centerpiece for the annual Tulip Time Festival in Pella’s Historical Village.

Know Before You Go

The mill is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Tours depart at various times throughout the day, see the historical society's website for times and prices.

Content originally created for Atlas Obscura.

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