Historic Jonathan Young Windmill
Nestled in Cove Park in the nearby town of Orleans, the Jonathan Young Windmill offers a glimpse of what life was like during Colonial Era Cape Cod during the early to mid-1700s. Made of hand-hewn wood from its original construction (which has been estimated to have been during the year 1720), the windmill boasts many of its early features, despite having undergone a two-year restoration project in order to preserve its authentic handmade features.
As one of the oldest windmills in the entire United States, the Jonathan Young Windmill has stood the test of relocation and time—a testament to the remarkable craftsmanship and durability of a time long past. It’s an ideal location to visit whether you’re a history buff, love old-fashioned buildings and craftsmanship, or simply like to learn more about the history of the places you visit on vacation.
Further Information on This Iconic Cape Cod Attraction
Once functioning as mill for grinding corn and barley, the mechanical parts of the Jonathan Young Windmill still work, even if the mill’s purpose now is more for historic tours. From Orleans to Hyannisport and back, the Jonathan Young Windmill was moved from town to town around Cape Cod (but originally built in South Orleans). The windmill now overlooks a gorgeous scenic setting right along the elbow of Cape Cod.
The windmill has quite a lengthy and entertaining history, which the guides who are available on-site—some of them local millers themselves—can regale you with during your tour, including interesting disputes between the mill’s millwrights (who built and maintained the mill and its gears) and the millers (who ground the barley and corn) centuries and centuries ago.
The Jonathan Young Windmill is available for public guided tours during the summer months of July and August. Volunteer guides are usually available inside of the mill between the hours of 11:00am until 3:00pm during operation days. There are no admission fees that need to be paid to enter the Jonathan Young Windmill, though donations are always appreciated.
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