Remembering the past, embracing the present, looking to the future

Dakota Buttes Historical Society/Museum

From early wooden windmills that drew water for homestead shacks and gardens, to 32 volt wind chargers that provided a more continuous flow of steady energy and even lit some early homes, to tall metal structures with blade variety, windmills of some sort have long been a part of life in this area of the Northern Great Plains, especially now, with the futuristic wind turbines of today.
Because sometimes in the wind we find our greatest direction, harnessing this natural energy resource from the late 1800s to today continues to be a goal for many.
Those goals and the resulting structures changed the Northern Plains, bringing water to settlers’ crops and cattle and making it possible for railroad steam engines to refill their water tanks every 7-9 miles. This year in its 50th anniversary season, the Dakota Buttes Historical Society/Museum’s (DBHS/M) special program in support of the Adams County Fair will be on wind energy.
Beginning at 1:00 pm in building two on Friday, August 2, the program centers around the anniversary theme: Remembering the past, Embracing the present, and Looking to the future. Well-known area storyteller Ceil Anne Clement begins the afternoon regaling the audience with tales of the wind and other stories. Jim LeFebre, long-time Lodgepole
resident, will explain how the early windmills and wind chargers worked, with personal experience of his family’s wind chargers. MDU Manager of Combustion Turbines and
Wind Generation Darrin Holzer completes the
afternoon with his presentation on the vision of wind energy in this area, why it works, how it works and the changes that have made it possible. Following the program, everyone can enjoy a time of “Windy Visiting” over coffee, lemonade and cookies served by DBHS/M board members and volunteers.
This fall on Sunday, September 1, the sixth annual bus tour takes place, this year featuring selected county windmills. The event concludes with a tour of the wind farms, hosted by Darrin Holzer, followed by a light supper at the museum. The bus loads at 1:00 pm outside of the museum’s main door (west side). Call the museum (701-567-4429) for further information.
Dakota Buttes Museum is open from 1:00 to 4:00 pm Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from Memorial Day to Labor Day or by appointment (phone numbers to call posted on west door).
All events are free and open to the public. Donations appreciated. Groups encouraged.