Batavia was once known as "Windmill City"

For anyone fascinated with the history of windmills, a visit to Batavia, Illinois might be in mind. Along their river walk, visitors can see several variations of windmills, many built right there in the city. At one time, Batavia had six windmill companies that produced hundreds of windmills each year.

Windmills were in production from 1863-1951. These companies included the U.S. Wind Engine Pump Company, Challenge Company, Benjamin Danforth, Batavia Wind Mill Company, Appleton Manufacturing Company and Snow Manufacturing Company manufactured windmills thus the name Windmill City stuck. Three of the buildings that produced windmills are still operational the U.S. Wind Engine Pump Company and the Challenge Wind Mill and Feed Mill Company. These are now in use as offices or for commercial business while the Appleton Manufacturing Company is now home of the Batavia Government Center.

As part of the bringing windmills back to Batavia sponsored by the Batavia Historical Society, today visitors can view 18 windmills including 15 that were built in Batavia including a rare Pearl Steel model that was produced by the Batavia Wind Mill company. For visitors that want to see several windmills at one time, many are located at the Batavia Riverwalk including a two Challenge OKs, Challenge Dandy, Pearl Steel, Challenge 27, Challenge Steel Appleton Goodhue Power 4, Challenge Vaneless Model 1913 and the U.S. Halladay Vaneless. For more information about the windmills, log onto the website


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