Incredible Sunrise at Windmill Island, Holland, Michigan
There is an interesting story behind this windmill. It's named De Zwaan, which in Dutch means "The Swan" or "Graceful Bird". It was first built in Krommenie, the Netherlands, in 1761 and later moved to Vinkel, the Netherlands. In the United States, there is a town with many Dutch immigrants from the late 1800's. It's Holland, Michigan. Two residents of the town, Willand Wichers and Carter Brown, wanted to bring a Dutch windmill to Holland to pay homage to the city's Dutch heritage. But many windmills in the Netherlands were damaged in World War II, and the Dutch government put a ban on selling them outside of the Netherlands. But Wichers and Brown were able to get around that by purchasing a very heaviliy damaged windmill, the De Zwaan, which had an uncertain future. So the Dutch government sold it to Wichers for $2800, and it was the last windmill to leave the Netherlands. So in October 1964 the De Zwaan was transported by the Prins Willem van Oranje ship to the harbor of Muskegon, and then by truck to Windmill Island in Holland. It took around 6 months to reconstruct the mill, and in April 1965 it was dedicated. Windmill Island sits on 36 acres of reclaimed swampland on the eastern end of Lake Macatawa. De Zwaan is 125 feet tall and its blades are 80 feet long. It is still in use today. De Zwaan windmill is one of the prominent landmarks of Holland along with the Big Red Lighthouse which sits at the opposite end of Lake Macatawa at Lake Michigan.