1914-1966: The Decline of the Dutch Windmill

By 1913, electricity was all the rage, and motorized pumps were installed to pump water for Golden Gate Park. The electric pumps were able to move 500,000 gallons of water a day, many times that of the windmills. Obsolete, the windmills were left to decay.

In the late 1930's a particularly strong storm destroyed much of the inner-workings of the mill. Then, during World War II, most of the internal mechanism was gutted for use in the war effort. As a final blow, a powerful winter storm in 1949 ripped one of the spars was from the windmill. As it fell to the ground, it crashed into the windmill's platform. On Febuary 8th, 1950, the Park Commission of San Francisco appropriated $1,100 from the Mayor's Emergency Fund to remove the remaining three spars and the damaged platform.

Years of neglect, salt water decay, and vandalism wore away at the windmill. By 1952, the dutch cottage next door had suffered so much vandalism at the hands of juevenille delinquents that the city feared it would have to be torn down. The windows had been broken out, doors and walls had been broken open, and fires had been set. The windmill stood motionless beside it, its once proud spars littering the ground, overgrown with the grasses and vines nourished from the water that it had once provided.

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