Batavia, Ill. Holds International Windmillers Trade Fair

Batavia, Ill., rolls out the red carpet for the International Windmillers Trade Fair
By Leslie C. McManus
December 2012
Add to My MSN

Trailers loaded with replacement parts were a draw for trade fair visitors.
Photo Courtesy Leslie C. McManus

Content Tools

Related Content

Cub Cadet Donates Limited Edition Tractor to Half Century of Progress

To help continue their 50th anniversary celebration, Cub Cadet has donated a limited edition Cub Cad...

Mystery Solved! July 2013 Mystery Tool Answers

Mystery solved! Check your answers to the mystery farm tools from the July 2013 issue of Farm Collec...

Windmiller’s Memorabilia Lane

Jim Lacey’s article on the three-legged tower sent one reader down windmiller’s memorabilia lane.

Fairbanks-Morse Engine Resource Needed

Looking for information and technical details for a Fairbanks-Morse engine

When the 2012 International Windmillers Trade Fair opened in Batavia, Ill., last June, it was like old home week for a community known historically as “the Windmill Capital of the World.” 

Nearly 300 windmill enthusiasts from the U.S., Canada and Australia attended the three-day event headquartered at Batavia High School. Brisk business of buying, selling and trading was underway in the school’s parking lot and displays of windmill collectibles and literature were set up inside. An impressive display in the school’s lobby featuring a restored Halladay Standard windmill and a Challenge Wind Mill & Feed Mill Co. pump and tank left no doubt that the local community had rolled out the red carpet for trade fair visitors. 

Two rare windmills were stationed just outside the school’s main entry: A Comet, manufactured by U.S. Wind Engine & Pump Co., Batavia, and an 8-foot Decorah built by Snow Mfg. Co. in nearby Geneva, Ill. The Decorah had ties to the Challenge company. “Thomas Snow, who was from Decorah, Iowa, was an investor in Decorah (Iowa) Windmill Co. He was also president of Challenge Wind Mill & Feed Mill Co.,” explains restorer Dan Herrig, Grand Forks, N.D. “In 1898, the company was moved to Geneva, Ill., and the name was changed to Snow Wind Mill Co., and later Snow Mfg.” In 1902, the firm was moved to Batavia, where it was eventually liquidated. 

When found, the windmill had seen better days. “The fan needed straightening and reworking,” Dan says, “and the tail vane was going in all directions.” Some parts were missing, but with the aid of original Snow literature they were built from scratch.  

Other displays on the school’s lawn included antique gas engines and related equipment from Batavia windmill companies. Visitors also enjoyed tours of Daniel Halladay’s home, the restored Fabyan Dutch windmill and a Frank Lloyd Wright house purchased by a Challenge Co. president. Activities also included an ice cream social, windmill trivia contest and comments by keynote speaker Helen Walter, editor of The Windmill Journal of Australia and New Zealand. FC 

For more information:   

— The 25th annual Windmillers Trade Fair will be held June 4-6, 2013, in El Dorado, Kan.   

— Contact Chuck and Joyce Jones, Flint Hills Windmill & Pump Service, 121 S. Main, Benton, KS 67017; (316) 778-1191 (business) or (316) 778-1191 (cell); email: or visit International Windmillers Trade Fair.  

Read more about windmills in A Windmill Town Celebrates Local Heritage and Norton All Steel.

Leslie C. McManus is the editor of Farm Collector magazine. Contact her at or find her on . 

Post a comment below.


First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Farm Collector is a monthly magazine focusing on antique tractors and all kinds of antique farm equipment. If it's old and from the farm, we're interested in it!

Every month Farm Collector brings you:

  • Windmills to cream separators
  • Hog oilers to horse-drawn equipment
  • Implements to engines to farm toys

If it's old and from the farm, we're interested in it!

Save Even More Money with our SQUARE-DEAL Plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our SQUARE-DEAL automatic renewal savings plan. You'll get 12 issues of Farm Collector for only $24.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and send me one year of Farm Collector for just $29.95.