“I just wanted to put a windmill in here,” Olen King said as workmen finished up installing the 25-foot tall machine at his 202 Brussel Street home, Thursday, June 2.
The windmill won’t do any work. It will simply be yard art, something for King to look at and enjoy.
The windmill is a Heller- Aller, manufactured in Napoleon. King said he assembled his windmill from parts he collected for about a year.
“I got the parts here and there, and put her together,” he said.
The parts are old. For example, King said the gearbox, which converts the rotary motion of the windmill blades to a linear motion for a water pump, probably dates back to the 1920s.
“The tower is older yet,” he said. “It was so rusty and everything. I cleaned it all up with sandpaper.”
The blades are new, reproduction parts.
There are still some things to do before the windmill is totally complete, such as adding oil to the gearbox.
King, who is 96 1/2 years old, said he is retired now from his crane business.
“I’m not doing much anymore,” he said.
“I’m spending my money on windmills and doctor bills.”–David Pugh