Windmills on our minds

As we get ready to celebrate Earth Day at Spocott Windmill on April 23, we thought we'd take a moment to look back at the importance of windmills in Dorchester County... The first windmills were probably developed in China about 2,000 years ago, but the first drawing of a windmill was in Persia some 500 years later. Improved by millwrights in the Middle East and Europe, they eventually pivoted to catch the wind from all directions and had adjustable sails to control speed. Wind-powered machines met the needs of growing populations – grinding grain and spices, pumping water to drink or drain land – until wind gave way to steam and the Industrial Revolution in the 1800s.