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Cape Cod Cape Cod Windmills

Even nowadays, one might see a few picturesque old windmills on Cape Cod. At one time these windmills would be facing the direction from which the wind was coming and maneuvered and maintained by the vane in this position as the wind varied.

The sails of the windmill would go merrily round and round pumping water or performing other necessary work, or perhaps operating simply for the entertainment of holiday visitors.

But in times past, back in the 1700’s, Cape Cod windmills were really put to work. The farmers had much corn to grind into meal. They sold the corn meal to the flourishing towns of Boston, Salem, and Plymouth, as well as other places, and they used it themselves for mush and johnnycake.

Moreover, during the 1800’s, when the salt making industry on the Cape was at its height, it was necessary to employ a great number of windmills to pump sea water into the huge tanks built near the shore. The water was allowed to stand in the tanks until it evaporated and left the valuable residue of salt. When great salt mines were later discovered in other parts of the country, the salt-making industry on the Cape collapsed, and the big, busy, clanking windmills became silent and fell into disuse.

Windmills will likely make a comeback not only on the Cape, but everywhere.

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Cape Cod
Posted by Cape Cod - (website) on 03/07/06
Categories: History
Keywords: history, wind farm, windmills,


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