Rep. Deborah Ruggiero has secured a $1,000 legislative grant to help support the Jamestown Historical Society’s celebration of Windmill Day this year.

Windmill Day, scheduled July 16, is the society’s biennial celebration of the historic 1787 windmill on North Road in Jamestown. The free event will feature a bring-your-own picnic with music, a petting zoo and plenty of fun. The windmill will be set up to spin that day, with the bonnet turned toward the wind and the sails outfitted with the cloth covers that help them maximize the wind’s power, said Rosemary Enright of the society.

The windmill was built shortly after the end of the Revolutionary War, during which Jamestown was under British occupation for about three years, and many of the island’s structures were destroyed. It was built to grind white flint corn, the kind used in johnnycakes, and operated until 1896. After being left to deteriorate for about eight years, a loosely organized group formed to preserve it in 1904. The Jamestown Historical Society took over its maintenance in 1912 and has taken care of it ever since, said Enright. Every other year, the society hosts Windmill Day as an opportunity for Jamestown to celebrate the historic and picturesque three-story structure.

The legislative grant will be used to fund a police detail to protect participants, since the windmill is located along a busy road with a high speed limit. The society hopes to organize a bike jamboree to the event that would involve people parking at Lawn School and riding their bikes to the windmill, said Enright, and the police detail would come in handy to help keep all visitors safe.

“Windmill Day is a celebration that reminds us all of what a special place Jamestown is. We are so fortunate not only to have rich history and beautiful places, but wonderful neighbors who take pride in making it possible for all of us to celebrate and appreciate these things. I deeply appreciate the work the Jamestown Historical Society does to bring history alive in enjoyable ways for all of the people of our community,” said Representative Ruggeiro (D-Dist. 74, Jamestown, Middletown).

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