1967-1981: The Restoration of the Dutch Windmill

Repeated efforts were made by various people and organizations to restore the windmills, including the Centennial Windmill Restoration Committee and the John McLaren Society. Noone went to greater lenghts to restore the windmills than Mrs. Eleanor Rossi Crabtree. Daughter of Angelo J. Rossi, San Francisco's mayor from 1931 to 1943, Mrs. Crabtree devoted more than 20 years toward the restoration of the windmills.

Mrs. Crabtree founded the San Francisco Citizens Commission for the Restoration of the Golden Gate Park Windmills in 1964 and was appointed chairwoman of the Windmill Restoration Project in 1966. In 1967, she joined forces with the John McLaren Society. In 1968 San Francisco received a $10,000 Federal grant to fund research concerning restoration of the windmill. This was followed by years of beurocratic footdragging while Mrs. Crabtree relentlessly pursued the funds necessary for the restoration.

Mrs. Crabtree's persistence finally paid off in 1976. Beginning August 21, the U.S. Navy Seabee Mobile Battalion No.2 Reserve Unit of Treasure Island supplied volunteer labor to work on restoring the Dutch Windmill. The seabees adopted the windmill restoraton projects with entusiastic gusto, and worked tirelessly on restorating the mill one weekend a month for 6 years. A plaque on the windmill honors Robert W. Carroll, a seabee who died in a tragic fall from the windmill while working on its restoration.

In 1981 restoration was completed on the Golden Gate Park North Dutch Windmill. A commemerative celebration was held, and Mrs. Eleanor Rossi Crabtree 'set the sails free'. A labor of love reached its fruition. Mrs. Crabtree died five years later.

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