Continued from Part 1...
The G-Scale model train set-up is the second major exhibit in Building 1 of the American Windmill Museum. And it's a WOW! The large model train layout has a 3,000-foot-long mainline track with dioramas of the South Plains. All the windmills in the dioramas were printed with 3-D printers.
In order to travel along the walls of the building, the trains must be elevated to 13 feet to clear the doors. One of the largest spiral helixes, for a model train, lets the trains run up a constant two percent grade. Each spiral is 15 feet in diameter. With two tracks, the trains can run up and down at the same time.
The dioramas of cities and farms explore the relationship between windmills and railroads. There is a behind-the-scenes engineer who keeps the computer running for ten different model trains.
|Diorama of Lubbock in 1941.|
|The detail is fantastic in |
these train set dioramas.
|Here's a Barnum and Bailey Circus train.|
|A windmill helps with powering a pump|
to irrigate corn, cotton, and sunflowers.
There was one very small-gauge railroad as well. The train is so small in relation to the house that the train looks more like a big snake.
Some of the dioramas were a little too realistic!
|Someone doesn't think much of |
The most fascinating and unique part of the railroad was a spiral helix designed by Shelley Harris, P.E. (Professional Engineer), and constructed by Shelley Harris, Sandra Harris, and Shirley Offutt. This is a one-of-a-kind helix and I loved watching the trains go through it to get to the next floor.
|This one-of-a-kind spiral helix takes|
trains from one floor to the next.
|See the diorama of this in the |
|Yellow Canyon House Ranch|
|A cute English cottage.|
|Some of the miniature houses are|
cut open to show the inside of the homes.
When you walk from the main part of Building 1, you go through a short hall to the Garrison Millstone Collection, there is a series of original paintings from the children's book, "The Train Story." They are just beautiful. The curator told me that the artist who donated the paintings, painted an extra panel that had windmills in it. None of the art prints from the original book show a windmill.
|Enlarge this photo to see the windmills|
in the painting on the bottom right.
|A close-up of one of the paintings.|
|Millstones for different purposes.|
|Mortar and pestle.|
|Millstones for diverse types of |
|Grain grinding mill stone.|
(Monolithic millstone grit.)
|Mineral grinding millstone.|
|All about wheat grinding.|
|Black powder millstone.|
|Beech nut hulling millstone.|
Below is an 1870 kitchen sink drain. It was fitted through the exterior wall of a house and set below the pipe of a kitchen sink. This stone drained water away from the house to soak into the ground. Rags would have been stuffed in the pipe to keep out vermin in winter. [From an 18th-century house in Manheim, Pennsylvania.]
|A kitchen sink drain. |
|Apple cider millstone. (Sandstone.)|
These stones could slowly decompose over the years because of the grinding action and weather. Many times, an iron ring would be placed around the outside of the stone to hold it together.
|You can tell by the various thicknesses|
of the mill stones how much they were
|Hershey's chocolate milling roller.|
This exhibit was awesome. I had no idea there were so many types of millstones!
|About Mr. "Tex" Burdick, |
|A photo of "Tex" Burdick.|
|Top man Carl Boyd. See the |
description in the photo below.
[Photo by "Tex" Burdick.]
|Photo by "Tex" Burdick. The |
description is in the photo below.
Have you ever heard of windmill weights or crescent weights? We never had until today. This museum has collections of all types of weights. Windmill weights were used on windmills that did not have orienting tails to help balance the mill on top of the tower. Many times the weights were distinctive figures germane to one company, for example, horses or cows. Other weights used were governing weights to help control the speed of the wheel.
|Continued in the photo below.|
|Oops, I missed the continuation|
of this description. Mea culpa.
Next, we learned about crescent weights. You better make sure the points of the crescent face up, not down.
- Out in the South Plains, there aren't a lot of grasses or materials for birds to use for nests. The birds adapted and made nests out of wire and barbed wire! The displays are the actual wire nests. The birds are fake.
- There is a history of "80 John," a legendary black rancher. One of the displays made me cry. There was a description of 80 John's last minutes of his life and it reminded me of my mom's last minutes.
|This touched me very deeply.|
- Information on the windmiller's chuck wagon.
- How the Aermotor Windmills came to be. It all started with a dictionary stand!
- A whole section is dedicated to the Aermotor Windmills, the most popular windmills ever made.
|Bob is dwarfed by these babies!|
So, we thought we were done with the museum; however, there was one last surprise in store. That surprise was "The Legacy of the Wind" windmill mural which covers 6,000 square feet of wall space in the events center room. The mural is by artist La Gina Fairbetter. About three other artists helped her paint this. The wall is 200 feet long by 34 feet high. Check it out!
|Many portions of this mural would make|
terrific jigsaw puzzles.
|I like the wooden windmill in |
the corner next to the mural.
|Protective mama prairie dog.|
|Baby prairie dogs exploring.|
|More baby prairie dogs.|
On the way back to the RV park, we drove past the Silent Wings Museum (honoring glider pilots in WW II). It was getting late and there was only an hour until they closed. We decided to skip it today and go there the next time we're in town.
|Silent Wings Museum in Lubbock.|
Back at the RV park, we had a beautiful sunset. Overall, this was a great day!