Chatham Windmill
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Old Mills in the United States

Chatham Windmill
Chatham Windmill, Chatham Massachusetts - Exterior
Photographed November 1990

Built in 1796 by Colonel Benjamin Godfrey, the Chatham Windmill operated continuously for 100 years. Chatham Windmill had many owners and events during its existence, which are detailed in the subsequent list.

Chatham Windmill stands 30 feet tall. It has an octagonal diameter. This windmill has three floors. The top two floors were used for grinding corn and wheat. On the first floor there is an interesting corncob grinder.

Today the Chatham Windmill stands preserved in Chase Park. It has four arms and the shake exterior appears new in this photograph dated November 1989.

Chatham Windmill is an excellent example of historic preservation in Massachusetts. The mill is listed on the State Register of Historic Places and received a matching grant from the Massachusetts Preservation Projects Fund through the Massachusetts Historical Commission. Chatham Windmill was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on November 30, 1978,

Chatham Windmill, Chatham Massachusetts - Exterior
Photographed June 2003
Chatham Windmill, Chatham Massachusetts - Exterior

Chatham Windmill History
of Owners and Events

1797 – Built by Colonel Benjamin Godfrey

1819 – Christopher Taylor inherited his Grand Uncle Godfrey’s Windmill.

1850 – Originally the shaft and gears were constructed of wood. In 1850, the cogged wooden wheel and double flanges were replaced with an iron gear.

1869 – Oliver Eldridge purchased the mill from Christopher Taylor

1874 – Zenas Nickerson and Sons purchased the windmill and operated a grain and grocery store.

1898 – Charles Hardy purchased the windmill but operated it for exhibition only.

1907 – Northwest gale broke shaft and arms which closed the mill.

1908 – Nelson Floyd of Winthrop bought the mill and adjoining land. The mill was not operated.

? – Charles Hardy bought and restored the mill, and operated it.

1929 – Severe storm damage closed the mill.

1939 – Stuart M. Crocker bought the mill, not functioning.

1956 – Stuart Crocker gave the windmill to Chatham Historical Society and it was moved from Stage Harbor Road to Rink Hill in Chase Park in Chatham.

Chatham Windmill, Chatham Massachusetts - Exterior
On Left, the Tail Piece at the Cap
Chatham Windmill - Tail Piece and Wooden Wheel
Massive Tail Piece attached to Wooden Wheel
Chatham Windmill - Tail Piece and Wooden Wheel
Close Up of Wooden Wheel
Hours: Seasonal. Click Here for Chatham Historical Society located at 347 Stage Harbor Road, MA 02633
or phone (508) 945-2493.
Directions: From SR 28 Go through Chatham, take the round-about to Main Street, turn right on Cross Stree, stay stright on Shattuck Place to Chase Park. Turn left into Gristmill Lane.
Click Here to view Chatham Windmill at Google Maps
Windmill Address: 10 Gristmill Lane, Chatham, MA 02633
Beals, Fred. Windmill List. Society for the Preservation of Old Mills. Mishawaka IN. 2002
Burrows, Fredrika A. Windmills on Cape Cod and the Islands Tauton, MA: William S. Sullwold Publishing, Inc, 1978. 80-84.
Cape Cod. Map. Rand McNally, 2000