In March 1888, a severe winter storm destroyed John Anthony LeCompte Radcliffe’s Spocott Windmill. His 10-year-old son, George, rescued the millstones and steps from the mill and stored them in a barn, vowing to rebuild his father’s mill in his lifetime.
Over the years, George pursued careers in education, law and politics, eventually being elected to the U.S. Senate. But Sen. George L. Radcliffe never forgot his childhood promise. In 1972, the mill was reconstructed with the stones and steps he had saved and dedicated just in time for his 95th birthday celebration.
The mill is now part of a reconstruction of the 19th Century community found in Lloyds, on Route 343, six miles west of Cambridge, Maryland. The village is open dawn to dusk 365 days a year and includes a circa 1800 cottage, schoolhouse, doctor’s office, museum and store.
The site is named for the adjoining property, Spocott, which was settled in 1663 by Stephen Gary. It has been owned by the same family all these years. The site of farming and shipbuilding, Spocott was a completely self-sufficient community, and a windmill has been an integral part of that community for most of these years.
The Spocott Windmill Foundation is committed to continuing its research and restoration efforts, as well as maintaining and sharing this Heritage Area site and its history with the public at no charge. As with most non-profit heritage organizations, they rely 100 percent on volunteer assistance and are always looking for docents, millers and historians.