Long Island Windmills
     Windmills and water mills are truly the wonders of an earlier era, the wooden technology of yesteryear.  To us, they may be graceful and charming relics.  To the colonists, however, they were a vital necessity.  Colonial craftsmen constructed them to mill grain, saw wood, pump water and do various other jobs.  Furthermore, the mill was the gathering place for the villagers.  While they waited for their grain to be milled, the villagers exchanged news and gossip and stories.  Millers were well respected not only for their mill's output but also for their own weather forecasts, knowledge of engines and machines, and, of course, up-to-date news.
     Long Island is an ideal place for catching the steady wind from the ocean and bays:  125 miles long, narrow - only 20 miles across at its widest, and relatively flat.  Thus, many windmills were built here and still exist here, particularly at the island's east end.  As a matter of fact, the south fork of eastern Long Island contains the greatest number of surviving windmills in the United States.  Before 1700, Long Island also had many water mills, some of them powered by the tide.


   LIG NOTE: For anyone interested in exploring this topic further the following is recommended reading - Windmills and Water Mills of LONG ISLAND by Sr. Anne Frances Pulling and Gerald A. Leeds.  It is part of the Images of America series published by Arcadia Press.  It is currently out of print but still available in some libraries.



Amagansett Windmil originally published in, "Long Island to-day; by
Ruther Frederick, 1909












Built in 1795 at Southold and moved in 1842 to its present site on Shelter Island were is was restored in 1952

Gardiner's Mill, Easthampton, Long Island. Detail of wing.
Gottscho, Samuel H. 1875-1971, (Samuel Herman), photographer.
CREATED/PUBLISHED 1933 July 19

Gardiner's Mill, Easthampton, Long Island. General over tombstones.
Gottscho, Samuel H. 1875-1971, (Samuel Herman), photographer.
CREATED/PUBLISHED 1933 July 19

Windmill at Hayground, Long Island. Detail of exterior.
Gottscho, Samuel H. 1875-1971, (Samuel Herman), photographer.
CREATED/PUBLISHED 1930 June 25

Windmill at Hayground, Long Island. Path to mill.
Gottscho, Samuel H. 1875-1971, (Samuel Herman), photographer.
CREATED/PUBLISHED 1930 June 25.

Beebe Windmill, Ocean & Hildreath Sts., 
Bridgehampton, Suffolk County, NY. 
Photograph by Jet Lowe, 1978.

Shinnecock windmill
Located on the campus of  LI University Southampton College

The Hook Mill of East Hampton, LI, NY

Second view of The Hook Mill of East Hampton, LI, NY

Shelter Island - "The Gristmill" c. 1890
The windmill was built in 1810 in Southold by Nathaniel Dominy jr. using parts of a previous mill.  It was moved to Shelter Island by barge and put to use grinding corn and wheat at its location by the schoolhouse.

A Modern photo of the Shelter Island Gristmill

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