By Dean Vaglia
Leader Staff Writer
A nearly 90-year-old windmill was brought down from Willow Hill Farm on Noble Rd. on the afternoon of Friday, Sept. 3.
Taken down to be moved to Stacy Simms’ Columbiaville residence, the 1934 Aermotor Model 702 was once used to pump water on Ralph “Bud” Hickmott’s farm.
“The windmill has been in my family since the beginning of my family being at the farm,” Simms said.
The farm is being sold, so moving the windmill off of the farm will keep it within the family.
“I just really wanted a part of the farm,” Simms said. “My grandpa died in 1989 and my grandma just passed away this past October, so now the farm is being sold and I just desperately wanted the windmill.”
Simms grew up as an Air Force “brat” living in various places around the world such as Italy. But whenever she came to Michigan, the farm and windmill were always there.
“My mom and I were the only people in the family who did not live here in the state,” Simms said. “I have been flying back here since I was six months old.”
When Simms was at the farm, she would help out by working various chores and other tasks.
“We went from Detroit Airport to Willow Hill Farm and I just stayed there the entire time helping with chores, being with the cows — especially the baby calves — and the tractors and climbing trees,” Simms said. “The farm meant everything to me.”
The removal of the antique windmill was carried out by a crew from Silva Trucking, which is based out of Lum.
Willow Hill Farm was built in the 1850s, and Simms’s grandparents moved there shortly after marrying in 1946. The farm operated as a dairy farm in its prime. Hickmott was both a farmer and an auctioneer and died in April 1989.