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Ten Fulton, Illinois residents learn miller trade in Dutch village

Windmill ‘The Immigrant' needs operators

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

PIETERBUREN, the Netherlands - Ten Illinois apprentice millers from the town of Fulton recently spent time in the Netherlands taking a follow-up course for a job back home. There, they will be operating Fulton's newest landmark, a new windmill - named ‘The Immigrant' - constructed by Dutch builder Molema. Because the Fulton windmill is not yet operational - the millstones only were shipped while the millers were apprenticing in the Netherlands - additional training was provided at a number of locations in the province of Groningen, which is home to 83 operational mills.

The Fulton millers - with surnames such as Huisingh, Kolk and Kramer - mostly are from Dutch heritage, as is a significant part of the population of their home town. For most of the new millers, the follow-up course in the Netherlands was the first time they visited the country of their ancestors. The Dutch community of Fulton - on the banks of the Mississippi - dates from the closing decades of the 19th century.