Major Changes in 1986
Nothing happened to the Prairie Mill until 1986 when the town of Benson, IL wanted to buy it. Golden citizens quickly raised the funds to purchase the mill, and established the Golden Historical Society to restore and operate the windmill.
In 1995 an assessment by the Society for the Preservation of Old Mills provided the momentum for a major fundraising effort. The assessment indicated that although there were serious structural problems, there were few restorable windmills remaining that had its original mechanism nearly untouched since it last milled flour in the 1930s. To date, over $600,000 has gone into the restoration.
Major restoration began in 1998. The society restored the windmill to operation and repaired the West wing. The East wing was completed in 2003 and the North wing should be complete in 2004.