Cape Cod, some forty miles out to sea, is no stranger to big wind. Like every resource of the land, the early settlers harnessed the element and put it to work. The soil was full of rocks and couldn’t support some of the more delicate food crops. The Native Americans taught the settlers which crops would grow best. Corn became one of the main staples of Cape Cod life.
At one time, there were around fifty windmills across the Cape towns. They were built on high ground by a millwright out of wood and cedar shingles. The millstone picker carved the millstone out of granite. The miller ran and maintained the windmill. He was often a retired sea captain who understood wind and sails.
There are a handful of these beauties preserved on the Cape. A few are open in the summer for tourists. One in the Town Cove in Orleans occasionally wears the canvas sails that caught the wind to grind the corn.
The blizzard this week made me think of the windmills. Right now the Cape is cold, snowy, and icy. You may wonder why this is part of my Cape Cod magic theme. First of all, there are a lot of hearty folks who love a good storm. But more important, winter weather reminds us to plan our vacations! If you’ve never seen a windmill, you should. The same goes for a lighthouse, or a real antique Cape Cod house. How about kettle ponds and glacier rocks? Not to mention beaches, bays, oceans, seals, whales, great whites, bike trails, museums…Can you feel the love?
You can find more info on http://www.capecod.com. Have I started you thinking?