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Sylvester Manor Windmill on Shelter Island is getting a restoration

Originally built in 1810, it’s the only surviving windmill from the North Fork

Sylvester Manor Educational Farm

The Sylvester Manor Windmill—which is the only surviving windmill from the North Fork, originally built in Southold in 1810—is getting a restoration.

The Sylvester Manor Educational Farm has been raising money to restore the historic windmill and bring it back into operation. Earlier this month, on July 13, it was raised six feet up into the air to allow the installment of permanent footings instead of the boulders and rocks that it was previously situated on top of.

After the foundation is completed, workers will move on to re-shingling the structure, restoring the windshaft and blades, and finally restoring the machinery inside to allow the windmill to be fully functional.

The press release sent from the Sylvester Manor Educational Farm reads:

The ultimate goal is to fully restore and preserve the windmill so that it can be open to the public for viewing and educational programs, and its legacy as an operational windmill revived.

East Hampton carpenter Nathaniel Dominy built the structure by hand in 186 days of labor, according to the Sylvester Manor Educational Farm website.

In 1840, the windmill was transplanted from Southold to the center of town on Shelter Island. It was later purchased in 1879 by Lillian Horsford, who wanted to keep the windmill preserved—then, in World War I, it served as operational windmill for food conservation initiatives.

In 1926 it was moved to the Sylvester Manor by Lillian’s sister, Cornelia, which is where it currently stands.

A representative told Curbed that the exterior work is expected to be done by this upcoming winter, and that the internal mechanics should be done by sometime next year.

East Hampton

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