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The Dutch Mill (The Wind Mill)

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The Wind Mill
c. 1927. 4385 Shelburne Rd.

In the 1920s the main paved roadsides in Vermont, especially those newly designated as U.S. highways, blossomed with gas stations, tearooms, gift shops, farm stands, restaurants, and tourist cabins. The Great Depression accelerated this trend, as local families attempted to generate extra income by attracting passing traffic. The most noticeable, in Vermont and across the nation, were the “mimetic” buildings whose forms reflected their names or the products sold within. These buildings competed riotously for motorists' attention but were largely ephemeral and few have survived their pre–World War II heyday. The most visible and striking example surviving in Vermont is “The Wind Mill” built as an eponymous roadside icon for a crescent of twenty-five tourist cottages on the east side of U.S. 7. A small-scale four-blade, shingled “Dutch” windmill with a lighted cap sits atop a shingled canopy to catch the eye of passing motorists. The small office for the cabins attached to the canopy grew in stages until, in 1995, it was expanded into the Dutch Mill Family Restaurant. The canopy now serves as shelter for its main entranceway. Other examples of this dynamic popular architecture exist on less developed segments of U.S. highways, including U.S. 2 in North Hero (GI4), Waterbury, and Marshfield; U.S. 4 in Woodstock and Castleton; U.S. 5 in Putney, Hartford, and Barton; and U.S. 7 in Clarendon, Pittsford, and Brandon.

Writing Credits

Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson


What's Nearby


Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson, "The Dutch Mill (The Wind Mill)", [Shelburne, Vermont], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Vermont

Buildings of Vermont, Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2013, 176-176.

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