Historic Windmill: 1924 Mendooran 7.3m Windwheel

A testament to the durability of windmills

In 1997, the Paynes of Mendooran donated this 7.3m Southern Cross windwheel and tower to the Gilgandra Museum and Historical Society.

Mrs Payne’s grandfather, Mr R Gavin of “Fernside” Mendooran, purchased the windmill almost a century ago, in 1924, where it stood proud for 73 years atop a 12m (40’) windmill tower.
The assembled windwheel was transported by wagon, over more than 100km from Mudgee to Mendooran, and was then erected on its 12m tower over a bore hole that was sunk 180m deep. The mill pumped water from a depth of 165m (540’), and functioned admirably for 73 years, only requiring general maintenance and a minimum of repairs.
one hundred year old southern cross windmill at the gilgandra rural museum
information plate of 1924 built southern cross windmill at the gilgandra museum

The windmill now stands out front of the Gilgandra Museum, on a lowered 8m tower, to make it more of a showpiece for visitors to the museum, and ensuring it is visible for people travelling along the Newell Highway.

Now closing in on 100 years old, the Windmill still operates admirably, with its latest service requiring nothing more than some oil to keep it in operating condition.
This piece of Australian history is truly testament to the reliability and longevity of Southern Cross windmills, and a demonstration of the quality of engineering of our ancestors.

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