The Jonathan Young Windmill is historically unique, with all of its early parts and machinery intact, far more than many others which have been substantially altered through restoration efforts.
Authentically restored by volunteers working with the Orleans historical Society over a two year period, the Windmill was built in the early 1700’s in South Orleans. In 1839 it was moved to overlook Town Cove on the present site of The Governor Prence Inn.
Water power was first used to turn millstones to grind grain. With the shortage of fast running rivers and streams, Cape Codders turned to the wind for power.
Author/naturalist Henry David Thoreau was fascinated by our windmills: “Being on elevated ground, and high in themselves they serve as landmarks – for there are no tall trees.”
In 1990 the Orleans Historical Society donated the Windmill to the town as part of the “Town Cove Park”. The Windmill is open to the public, June through September.