- Associated Press - Monday, December 15, 2014

GIBBON, Neb. (AP) - A windmill that was taken down after it was damaged in a 2007 storm will once again greet visitors at a park near Gibbon in southern Nebraska.

A contractor and a team of windmill specialists installed the structure, which is more than 60 feet tall, last week near the entrance of the Windmill State Park and Recreation Area.

The windmill, originally erected in 1973, was removed from the park after its base was damaged by high winds seven years ago, the Kearney Hub (https://bit.ly/1AcwRSN ) reported.

“Probably since 2007, our No. 1 question from guests has been, ‘Where’s the windmill?’” said Park Supervisor Mark Clymer. “Now, that’ll be taken care of.”

The windmill is 20 feet in diameter, has 200 blades and is the largest and oldest of the park’s three windmills. While officials waited to secure funding from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission to repair the windmill, parts of it were stored around the maintenance yard of the park.

Contractor Loren Lockman of Double “L” Windmills worked on reconstructing the windmill for more than a year. He regularly works on old windmills and travels around the nation to build and repair them.

The difficulty in working with antique windmills is the lack of blueprints, he said.

“(Windmills) were built in a million different ways,” Lockman said. “It’s rough finding patterns, and the castings aren’t the same. You don’t have the same parts anymore.”

He said he had to make a few changes to the windmill since he couldn’t find timber beams long enough for its reconstruction. The newly installed tower is about 3 feet shorter than the original.


Information from: Kearney Hub, https://www.kearneyhub.com/

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