My dad loved windmills. He was born in the early 1900s and was around during the heyday of windmill use here in Minnesota. Windmills were used primarily for pumping water for livestock on area farms.
I still remember windmills or their remnants on most farmsteads even during my youth. Of course most windmills in our area were replaced with electric power after rural electrification began in 1935. Yet even today, wind power is still used to pump water for livestock in areas where electric lines have not been installed.
Traveling through the Buffalo Ridge area of Minnesota yesterday, the modern counterparts of windmills were apparent. We call them wind turbines now, but the concept is the same. Stretching across an area of consistent wind velocity in southwestern Minnesota, there are hundreds of these wind turbines generating electricity. My dad would be amazed that the reason for the demise of windmills in the 1930s and 1940s is now the reason for the construction of thousands of modern-day windmills.
Electricity replaced wind energy and now wind energy is generating electricity. Dad once said that someday people will be building windmills again. The prophetic words of the frugal German have been fulfilled as we again utilize free wind energy. Dad always said, “What goes around comes around.” Today there are more windmills going around than ever.