As a tribute to the heritage of Nederland, Texas, settled by immigrants from Holland in 1898, citizens of the city erected an exact replica of a Dutch windmill.
The design was one of many used in Holland and the 40 foot tall structure houses a museum.
Artifacts include a trunk brought from Holland before the turn of the century, wooden shoes, the 1952 Gold Medal won by W.F. (Buddy) Davis, a native son; and mementos of the late Tex Ritter, country and western music star, who called Nederland home.
The first floor of the museum has a western theme, featuring a suit, boots and other items owned by Tex Ritter, presented by his family.
Artifacts are displayed on three floors of the building along with a small gift shop stocked with imported items from Holland.
The Texas State Historical Survey Committee erected a historical marker in front of the building in 1970. A marker honoring War Veterans is located in a small park area and the facility is owned by the City.
The windmill museum was a project of the Nederland Chamber of Commerce started when an Englishman, M.L.C. Lucke, was president. Sam Bass, a German Engineer, built a scale model of the proposed structure and this was displayed in the Chamber of Commerce office. The model is in the museum.
Ground was broken for the structure on January 11, 1969, dedication ceremonies were held July, 1969, with the principle address by the Vice Consul of the Netherlands.
The windmill was built on a small tract of city property. Mrs. Dan Barras donated a city lot and the city purchased another lot adjacent to the original tract to form a small park area.
Admission is free and the museum is open Monday through Sunday, 9 - 5pm until September 1, after September 1, Thursday through Sunday, 1 - 5pm).