Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Yorktown in York County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Yorktown's Windmill

 
 
Yorktown's Windmill Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, April 20, 2013
1. Yorktown's Windmill Marker
Inscription. For over 100 years, one of Yorktown’s most prominent landmarks was a tall, wooden “smock” windmill that stood at the edge of the steep bluff near here. A rotating cap with sails sat atop the tower and could be turned with a long tail pole to face the wind. The original mill was built by William Buckner about 1711 and ground grain for nearby residents. The windmill shown in several later 18th-century views of the town may have replaced Buckner’s first structure.

It is likely that the windmill was damaged during the 1781 siege of Yorktown. In 1801 it was referred to as the “Old Tower Windmill” suggesting it may not have been in operation. By 1840, the octagonal tower, missing its sails, was obviously in ruins as shown in the sketch above.

The use of wind to power mills for grinding grain dates to ancient times. A bluff-top site like this one was perfect for employing wind power to rotate the heavy grinding millstone, easing the task of producing flour and meal from wheat and corn. In Virginia, tidal and millpond water impoundments also provided power for gristmills.
 
Erected 2010 by York County.
 
Location. 37° 14.377′ N, 76° 30.634′ W. Marker is in Yorktown, Virginia
Yorktown's Riverwalk image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher
2. Yorktown's Riverwalk
, in York County. Marker can be reached from Water Street west of Buckner Street when traveling west. Click for map. Located along Yorktown's Riverwalk. Marker is in this post office area: Yorktown VA 23690, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Aviation Field Yorktown (here, next to this marker); The Watermen's Museum (a few steps from this marker); Join the Adventure (a few steps from this marker); John Smith Explores the Chesapeake (a few steps from this marker); The Betsy (within shouting distance of this marker); Naval Weapons Station (within shouting distance of this marker); The Yorktown Windmill (within shouting distance of this marker); Chesapeake Bay Watermen (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Yorktown.
 
More about this marker. Illustration courtesy of the Mariners’ Museum, Newport News, Virginia
 
Categories. Landmarks
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 172 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
Paid Advertisement