golden

Resources

Special Features & Services at the Windmill

  • Speakers Bureau

    GHS Speakers Bureau

    The Golden Historical Society has a story to tell!  Let us speak to your group about the fascinating story of the Prairie Mills Windmill.

    To request a speaker, contact us by e-mail or call Terry Asher at 217-885-3049 or 217-257-7213 or Kay Lord at 217-696-2360.

    To request a speaker by mail, send a request to:
    Terry Asher
    1431 Hemingway Drive
    Quincy, IL 62305-9202

  • Anna Weinke Museum

    Anna Weinke Museum

    The Golden Historical Society operates a general artifacts museum behind the Prairie Mills Windmill.  The museum proclaims the local history, German heritage, and the agricultural/milling history.  The Golden Museum displays a 400 piece windmill collection, antique beauty shop equipment, sleigh, Bibles, books, quilts, clothing, military uniforms, dishes, and other memorabilia.

    The Prairie Mills Windmill and the Anna Weinke Museum are open for tours on weekends beginning from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.

    Admission is $3 for adults, $1 for students (6-18 years old).

  • Windmill Hall

    Windmill Hall

    The Windmill Hall is available for weddings, dinners, and other group events.  Formerly a bowling alley, the Windmill Hall is large enough to handle over 200 people for a dinner.  Rentals of either half or the entire building are available.

    Contact Kay Lord at 217-696-2514 or 217-696-2360 or e-mail for more information, to check for hall availability or to reserve the hall.

    All reservations require a deposit and completion of the Windmill Hall Rental Agreement and Guidelines form, available at the Lord Insurance Service in Golden or online.  Click here for the online form.

    The Golden Historical Society can also cook and serve dinners.  Contact Lois Reason at 217-696-4672 or by e-mail to discuss menus and prices.

  • Gift Shop

    Gift Shop

    The restored west wing of the windmill houses a gift shop stocked with windmill-related clothing, china, jewelry, toys and other unique gifts.  Contact Shelly Jones at 217-696-2719 for information and hours or for mail orders.

    The Gift Shop is open whenever the windmill is open for tours or by appointment.  The gift shop is also open during “Christmas at the Mill” that normally occurs on the first Saturday in December.

  • Brick Memorial Park

    Brick Park Program

    Be a lasting part of the Prairie Mills windmill restoration!  Purchase a personalized brick, tree or other landscaping plants for yourself or a loved one.  All bricks will be placed in a memorial park just South of the windmill and along walkways.

    For more information, contact Joan Tenhouse at 217-696-4859.

    Please complete and return the order form.  Make checks payable to the Golden Historical Society.  Order only one brick per order form.

Discover
Gift Shop Keepsake Items

When The Wind Blows

The Golden Historical Society recently reprinted the book, "When the Wind Blows" by local author Anna Wienke.  Anna is the great-granddaughter of the builder of the mill, Mr. H. R. Emminga.

The book details the Emminga family and the history of the three windmills and one steam mill that operated in the Golden area.  "When the Wind Blows" is a must for all mill enthusiasts or anyone interested in local history.

The book is available in hardcover ($10) or softcover ($7.50).  For mail orders, please add $8 each for tax and shipping (use the form below). Order Now!

Coffee Cup and Hotplate

The new coffee cup and hot plate are now available!.  Both items feature photos of the windmill from the 1800’s and after its restoration.  The cost is $7 each.

The Prairie Mills Cookbook

The “Prairie Mills Cookbook” contains 498 recipes contributed by Golden-area chefs.  It includes a special section for old-fashioned German recipes.  The cost is $15.00 each.  For mail orders, add $6.00 postage for each book ordered in the US.  Mail orders will be shipped by USPS Priority Mail.  Contact us for postage for international orders.

The cookbook is also available in Golden at Lord Insurance or the Golden Public Library.  Contact Shelly Jones at 217-696-2719 for mail orders.

Christmas Ornament

The Prairie Mills Windmill Christmas Ornament is available for this years Christmas tree.  This beautiful ornament is made from Alderwood and is approximately 4 inches square.  The alderwood scent reminds people of Christmas’ past.  A red satin ribbon is attached.  The cost is $12.00 each. 

 

This ornament is also available at the Golden Public Library or from Shelly Jones at 217-696-2719.

Other Local Resources

Windmill Links

  • Illinois Dutch-style Windmills

  • The Society for the Preservation of Old Mills (SPOOM)

  • International Molinological Society (TIMS)

County and City Tourism LInks

  • Adams County/Quincy, Illinois

  • Hancock County/Carthage, Illinois

  • Pike County/Pittsfield, Illinois

  • Nauvoo, Illinois

  • Hannibal, Missouri

  • Great River Road, Illinois

  • Adams County Fair, Mendon

Lodging

  • Harpole's Heartland Lodge, Nebo, Illinois

Illinois Wineries

  • Baxter's Vineyard and Winery, Nauvoo

  • Ridge View Winery, Mt. Sterling

  • Spirit Knob Winery, Ursa

  • The Village Vineyard and Winery, Camp Point

Local Illinois Museums & Sites of Interest

  • Historical Society of Quincy and Adams County

  • John Wood Mansion

  • The Quincy Museum

  • Villa Kathrine

  • All Wars Museum

  • Kibbe Museum

  • Old Carthage Jail

  • Nauvoo Visitors Center

This photo shows the west side of the windmill in May 2003, before construction of the north wing.

Photo © Terry Asher.
This photo shows the west side of the windmill in May 2003, before construction of the north wing. Photo © Terry Asher.
This photo taken in February 2005 shows the windmill tower at night.  Includes the poem “The Windmill” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Photo © Terry Asher.
This photo taken in February 2005 shows the windmill tower at night. Includes the poem “The Windmill” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Photo © Terry Asher.
This photo taken in June 2007 shows the completed windmill just after sunrise.

Photo © Terry Asher.
This photo taken in June 2007 shows the completed windmill just after sunrise. Photo © Terry Asher.
This photo taken in July 2005 shows the completed windmill at sunset.

Photo © Paul Searls.
This photo taken in July 2005 shows the completed windmill at sunset. Photo © Paul Searls.

Golden is a town of 600 residents located in the northeast corner of Adams County, the westernmost county in Illinois.  Golden is approximately 30 miles northeast of Quincy, the county seat.

Golden is located on a flat, swampy, fertile prairie between the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers.  Residents say that a drop of water that falls on the east side of Golden will flow to the Illinois River, and a drop that falls on the west side will flow to the Mississippi River.

The first settlers in "Northeast" Township came to the area in the 1830s.  This area was part of the Military Tract that covered much of the land in Central Illinois.  The US Government set aside land in the Military Tract to give to veterans of the War of 1812.  However, the first settlers in the Golden area didn't arrive until the mid-1840s.

Many early immigrants came from the East Friesland area of Germany.  East Friesland was a flat, swampy area of Northwest Germany near the Netherlands border.  The area reminded the new settlers of their former home.  Their trip was long, taking 14 weeks or more.  Their route started in Bremerhaven, Germany.  They traveled by ship to New Orleans and by riverboat up the Mississippi River to Quincy.  Their final leg would be a two-day journey by wagon or horse.

In the 1850s the first of two railroads laid track through what is now Golden.  The Toledo, Wabash and Western railroad was the first, completing their line between Clayton and Carthage, Illinois and Keokuk, Iowa.  The Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad completed their line and depot between Quincy and Macomb, Illinois in 1863.  The point where the two railroads crossed became a transfer point between the two railroads and became known as "Keokuk Junction."  At this time, the postal service also opened the first post office in the area.

In 1866 the initial lots making up the town of Keokuk Junction were laid out, platted and sold.  Incorporation of the town occurred on April 1, 1867.  Residents would later rename the town to "Golden" in 1881.

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