A windmill in downtown Moorhead? How did it get there? Why? But there it stands 32 feet tall, on 2nd Street behind the Cover Country School house in downtown Moorhead.
The Wright Hardware, which was located where the Dunlap Storage Units are now, sold the windmill to the Perrin family in the early 1920s for the price of $50.
“Wright Hardware” is actually lettered on one of the legs. The windmill originally was placed on a hillside of the Perrin farm which was south of town near Preparation.
For approximately 60 years it pumped water into a cistern, which in turn provided water for livestock.
During early August of 1994, the four legged metal sculpture was moved from the Perrin Centennial Heritage Farm of 1858 to its present location.
John Iversen, the local well man and city councilman, volunteered to move it. He along with Donnie Solberg and Darrell Wessell moved the Aermotor Windmill to town using the Iversen’s backhoe trailer.
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Iversen recalls, “We had men around town who came down and served as sidewalk supervisors, among them were John Johnson, Norman Lee and Ivan Nielsen, who was mayor at the time.”
Back to the why! The artifact was given to the Moorhead Cultural Center of the Loess Hills by Darrell and Lorna Perrin Wessell to be a part of the upcoming September opening of the 1994 “Land of the Fragile Giants: Landscapes, Environments and Peoples of the Loess Hills” art exhibition organized by the Brunnier Art Museum, Iowa State University.
The Cultural Center officials noted that the windmill fit into the theme of the title of the Exhibit very well. It had sound, motion, a visual impact and the personality of windmills people experience in the Hills.
This opening was among the first steps in the nicknaming the Loess Hills as “Fragile Giants” and draw attention to Western Iowa.
Now, a plaque on the Windmill designates it as a Local Agricultural Legacy in memory of Lorna I. Perrin.