York Town Square

Part of the USAToday Network

Dempwolf windmill graced north bank of York’s Codorus Creek in 1870s

This windmill, seen here in this photo from the York County Heritage Trust, operated in the 1870s in the Jefferson Avenue area, north of the Codorus Creek in York. Background posts: Dempwolf architects built York’s skyline, history and What was famed architect John Dempwolf’s own house like? and Fairmount fit for Roger, Anita and Pongo, Perdita.

A recent York Town Square post Vermont windmill: ‘That turbine was built at the S. Morgan Smith company, right here in York’ linked wind power with York County.
But an early attempt in York County to harness the wind came with construction of a windmill of the type normally associated with Holland.
That structure went up near present-day Jefferson Avenue between Beaver and North George streets… .

Jim Rudisill wrote in “York: Since 1741” that Charles Dempwolf, father of prominent York architects John and Reinhardt, constructed the mill, powered by blades covered with canvass.
He used the windmill to grind animal bones into fertilizer.
All this makes one wonder why wind power, with at least some use in the 1870s, hasn’t been developed much more as an energy source.
Anyway, the long-gone windmill left a bit of a legacy.
Jefferson Avenue, Rudisill writes, was known as Dutch Lane for many years.