WELCOME TO THE VERMEER WINDMILL
When you visit us at the Vermeer Windmill, you're visiting the tallest working windmill in North America!
Designed and built by Lukas Verbij in Hoogmade, the Netherlands, the mill was de-assembled, shipped to Iowa, and re-assembled here in Pella in 2002.
Named after the Harry and Bernice Vermeer family, whose dream it was to have a mill in Pella, the Vermeer Mill is an 1850s-style "koren mill" or grain mill. Almost every small town in the Netherlands has a mill at its center; this is our nod to Pella's agricultural past.
When you visit the Mill, you'll actually go up five floors:
On the first floor is the base of the mill, where grain is brought in through the front double doors and hoisted up into the mill through a series of trap doors.
The second floor is the compact space where the miller and his family would have lived. Be sure to take in the "bedstede," an in-the-wall bed that saved space and kept the sleepers warm with its doors that shut the bed off to the rest of the room.
The third floor contains models of various windmills in the Netherlands. The fourth floor is used as storage.
And then you're on the top floor--the fifth floor! Take in the giant blades and the superb view of Pella from the top. Maybe you'll get to see one of the millers climb the sail stock like a ladder to attach the sail canvas.
Fun Facts About the Vermeer Windmill
Height: The windmill is 124 ft., 6 in. tall (from the ground to the top of the highest sail), making it the tallest working windmill in North America.
Base: The base of the mill is 32 feet in diameter and 40 feet high.
Bricks: There are 29,969 bricks on the outside of the base, laid in a Dutch-bond pattern to match mills in the Netherlands.
Foundation: Concrete caissons go down 27 feet for a firm foundation.
The tour of the Vermeer Windmill also includes a stop at the Miniature Village. The Miniature Village began in 1938 as a work study project for students at Pella's community schools and Central College. Many volunteers have since spent countless hours working on it. It depicts life in the Netherlands in the 1840s, portraying all four seasons. The Miniature Village is full of detail; it's not to be missed!