Located in northeastern Adams County along the old Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad is Golden, a small town of about 600 people.
The most unique feature of Golden is its windmill, the Prairie Mills Windmill, located at the southeast end of town on Prairie Mills Road. H.R.Emminga, a German immigrant and trained millwright, built the windmill in 1873. The farmers who took their grain to be milled here did not pay Emminga cash but rather a percentage of their grain that they brought. Emminga milled his share of the grain sold the flour all over the country and even overseas. Emminga earned a solid reputation, even winning an award for the best flour on the market in St. Louis in 1874.
The mill stayed in the Emminga family until 1923, and it continued in its original use until 1924 when a storm blew off two of the sails.
Restoration began in 1996 and was completed in 2004. According to its website, the windmill is the only, "Restored, US-built windmill operating with its original millstones and wood gear mechanism." Today the mill still grinds grain occasionally and is open for tours on Saturdays from noon to 12-1 PM, Sundays in summer from 1-5 PM, and by appointment or chance. Admission is $3 for adults, $1 for students. To visit the Prairie Mills Windmill website, click here.
Below is an excellent video on the Prairie Mills Windmill by Illinois Adventure, a program of WTVP 47, the public broadcasting channel of Peoria. Illinois Adventure is a great resource for those looking for Illinois travel ideas.
Below are some buildings on Quincy Street. Notice that the one on the left reads "H.H. Emminga." He was the son of H.R. Emminga, the millwright who built the windmill.
Below is a picture of Trinity Lutheran Church, one of three Lutheran churches in Golden. There are no churches of any other denomination in town. One can only imagine the kinds of strong arguments and disagreements that the old German settlers must have had for them to need three Lutheran Churches in such a small town.