Golden Gate Park windmills

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Dutch Windmill
Mill location Golden Gate Park
Coordinates 37°46′15″N 122°30′34″W / 37.770732°N 122.509403°W / 37.770732; -122.509403
Operator(s) San Francisco Recreation & Parks Department
Year built 1903
Purpose Water Pump
Type Tower
No. of sails 4
Other information 102 foot sail length
Murphy Windmill
Murphy windmill.jpg
Mill location Golden Gate Park
Operator(s) San Francisco Recreation & Parks Department
Year built 1908
Purpose Water Pump
Type Smock
No. of sails 4
Other information 114 foot sail length

There are two functioning windmills on the western edge of Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, California.[1] The northern Dutch Windmill was completed in 1903, and the southern Murphy Windmill was completed in 1908.[2] The Dutch Mill was placed on the San Francisco Designated Landmark list December 6, 1981, and the Murphy Mill was added July 2, 2000.[3]


In the 1870s and 1880s, Golden Gate Park was planted on sand dunes and required substantial irrigation.[4] In 1902, the Park Commission authorized the construction of two windmills to pump groundwater for park irrigation rather than purchasing water at exorbitant costs from the Spring Valley Water Company.[5] The Dutch Mill was completed one year later and pumped 30,000 gallons per hour.[6] Five years later, the Murphy Mill pumped an additional 40,000 gallons per hour to the park.[7]

Electric water pumps replaced the need for windmills in 1913, and the two mills fell into disrepair. By the 1950s, the mills were in a state of ruin.


In 1964, the San Francisco Citizens Commission for the Restoration of the Golden Gate Park Windmills was formed and led by Eleanor Rossi Crabtree, daughter of former San Francisco mayor Angelo Rossi. The Dutch Mill was restored in 1981. The Queen Wilhelmina Tulip Garden is located next to the Dutch Mill.

Plans for the Murphy Mill restoration began in 2002, with a reopening in 2012.[8][9] Since 2012 the Dutch community in the Bay Area celebrates their national Kings Day every year end of April at Murphy Mill. They celebrate Dutch culture and traditions, including old Dutch kids games, flea market, Dutch food, beer, music & dancing.[10]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Golden Gate Park Windmills & Tulips". Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  2. ^ "Windmills of California". Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  4. ^ ""Pacific Service" as an Aid to Nature in Golden Gate Park". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  5. ^ "Campaign to save the Golden Gate Park Windmills". Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  6. ^ "Dutch Windmill". Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  7. ^ "Murphy Windmill". Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  8. ^ Colliver, Victoria (28 April 2012). "Golden Gate Park windmills both will turn". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  9. ^ "Murphy Windmill reopens in Golden Gate Park". Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  10. ^ Administrator. " | King's Day in San Francisco". Retrieved 2016-04-19.