Judah Baker Windmill
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Old Mills in the United States

Judah Baker Windmill
Judah Baker Windmill, South Yarmouth MA - Exterior
Judah Baker Windmill was built in 1791.
Photographed 1996
Judah Baker Windmill, Orleans Massachusetts, Cape Cod
Judah Baker Windmill
Photographed 2003
Judah Baker built his windmill in 1791 at Grand Cove in North Dennis. Judah built his windmill with a cone-shaped roof and two dormers. One dormer was for the mast and power shaft and the other dormer was for the tail pole. Judah Baker’s son Peter sold his father’s mill to Captain Freeman Crowell who moved the mill to East Dennis. The mill functioned until 1863 at Winkle Point in East Dennis. Captain Braddock Matthews bought the mill in 1866 and moved it to South Yarmouth “Lower Village” now known as Bass River. Seth Baker bought the windmill from Captain Matthews in 1875. Seth operated the windmill until his death in 1891. Seth’s son Joseph sold the mill in 1893 to William Stone. The mill no longer operated. A storm in 1916 damaged the mill. Charles Henry Davis assumed the guardianship of the mill and he moved it down the street to its present location. A deal was made in 1953 where the Town of Yarmouth took over the responsibility of the windmill.

Frothingham, a writer for a The Register describes how the roof of the mill was turned to face the wind:
"The operation of the mill must have been fascinating. The whole roof and top beam and huge cog wheel were on rollers and could be rotated to head the sails into the wind. A long tail piece opposite the sails extended down from the roof to a wheel on the ground and this ran around the mill on a wooden track. It could be hauled by a horse, or even pushed by a number of men. The sails as we see them today are merely the slats on which canvas sails were spread and fastened to catch the wind."

Judah Baker Windmill was completely rebuilt in 1973. The interior structure, the shake shingles, the copula, the mast and the tail pole were all either rebuilt, replaced or restored. The mill was authentically rebuilt and restored using hand-hewn lumber where possible. The interior has the original mechanical equipment that the wind powered and stones that ground the grain.

Subsequently since the photos from 1996 and 2003 it is easily seen that the exterior shake siding has been replaced.
Judah Baker Windmill, South Yarmouth MA - Exterior
This picture shows the windmill with its entrance door. There are gravel walkways around the mill site, parking lot and to the beach. This perspective of the mill shows the tail pole.
Henry David Thoreau's take on the way the windmills appeared to him in 1849 when he traveled around Cape Cod was that the tail pole appeared to function as a brace supporting the cap, sails and mast structure against the winds. On his walking trip he must have watched many functioning windmills in 1849.
Judah Baker Windmill - Sign
Judah Baker Windmill, South Yarmouth MA - Exterior - Beach
Beach at Judah Baker Windmill
Judah Baker Windmill, South Yarmouth MA - Exterior - Beach and Inlet
Beach and inlet at the Windmill
Judah Baker Windmill, Orleans Massassuchetts - Mill Stone, Hopper, Shoe, Damsel
Interior of Judah Windmill: Mill Stones with Eye, Shoe, Damsel and Hopper
The mill stones grind the grain, the hopper funnels the grain into the shoe and the damsel shakes the shoe to be directed into the eye of the mill stones.
Judah Baker Windmill - Flyer Displayed at the Interior of the Mill
Dressing the millstone was done by the miller at regular intervals to keep the stones at their best. Maize (corn) was the hardest grain on the stones and caused the most frequent "dressing." A skilled miller could dress his stones in one or two day's time. It was a basic skill and a journeyman miller was often asked to "show his mettle" proving by the oxidized metal splinters in his hands (from the tools he used) that he was experienced in dressing stones. If the stones ran too hot, they would cook the meal destroying the flavor. The miller could tell instantly by the smell of the fresh meal, hence a good miller kept "his nose to the grindstones." (This flyer was displayed at the interior of Judah Baker Windmill June 2003)
Judah Baker Windmill, Orleans Massassuchetts - Hook and Crane
Hook and Crane
The hooks are secured into the top runner stone and the crane lifts the upper stone up off of the bedstone. The runner stone is then flipped over and each stone, runner and bedstone are sharpened and dressed. Once completed, the hook lifts the runner stone up, flips it back and sets it onto the bedstone.
Judah Baker Windmill, Orleans Massassuchetts -  Hook and Crane
Hook and Crane Piece
Judah Baker Windmill, Orleans Massassuchetts - Hook and Crane
The crane supports the 3,000 pound runner stone and the enormouse wooden screw raises the runner stone to be moved.
Judah Baker Windmill, Orleans Massassuchetts - Interior Panels and Timbers
Paneling and Timbers
Some of the panels and timbers in this windmill are from the original constuction in 1791, over 222 years old.
Judah Baker Windmill, Orleans Massassuchetts - Bull Wheel, Windshaft, Drive Shaft, Cap, Lables

The Bull Wheel is found at the very top of the windmill inside the windmill cap. The Bull Wheel is attached to the windshaft which moves the bull wheel around. The pinion gear interfaces with the bull wheel and directs the energy's inertia at a niney degree angle. The pinion gear is attached to the drive shaft. The drive shaft is attached to the eye of the mill stones and makes the runner stone move.

Judah Baker Windmill, Orleans Massassuchetts - Bull Wheel, Windshaft, Pinion Gear, Drive Shaft and Cap
Can you now find the bull wheel? windshaft? pinion gear? and drive shaft?
Judah Baker Windmill, Orleans Massassuchetts - Bull Wheel
Wooden teeth are hand carved into the bull wheel and interface with the pinion gear.
Hours Open to the Public: Judah Baker Windmill is managed by volunteers and they have the windmill open in season from Memorial Day weekend through Columbus Day weekend. For the months of July and August you can tour the interior of the mill on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. For the months of June and September the mill is open on Tuesday and Thursday only from 1:00 p.m. to 4::00 p.m. The mill is also open on all holidays that are on Saturday, Sunday or Monday. It is best to call the Town of Yarmouth Park Department for exact dates and times so you won't be disappointed if you get there and it is closed. The Park Department's phone number is 508-398-2231
Click Here to The Town of Yarmouth Park Deparment's website.
Directions: To find Judah Baker Windmill is a little difficult but I will give you my best information.
When all else fails, ask anyone you see because everyone knows where the windmill is located.
From the intersection of SR 28 in Yarmouth and Willow Street, go east on Willow Street.
Willow Street will go directly to the Judah Baker Windmill at the intersection of Willow Street and River Street.
Address: 89 River Street, South Yarmouth, MA 02664
Click Here to view Judah Baker Windmill on Google Maps
Burrows, Fredrika A. Windmills on Cape Cod & the Islands. Taunton, Mass.: William S. Sullwold Publishing, Inc. 1978.
Frothingham, Ted. "Bass River Mill Under Repair." The Register 27 Sept. 1973.
Whitten, Philip L. Letter to the author. 27 March 1990.
Whitten, Philip L. Telephone interview. 8 Nov. 2002.