Nearly from its beginning, Batavia was an industrial city. Farm implement and windmill factories provided employment for many. The first products manufactured in Batavia (flour, ice, lumber, paper, stone) found markets in Chicago.
Batavia’s significant industries are identified with the following Categories. Click any category from the menu above for the history and involvement of companies from Batavia.
CITY OF THE WORLD
Three major windmill factories, the Appleton, the Challenge, and the U. S. Wind Engine and Pump Co., were so productive that by 1890, Batavia was recognized as the leading windmill manufacturing city in the world.
The output of these companies served an important role in settling the West.
Model E Windmill
Several original Batavia manufactured windmills have been located, purchased, renovated, and erected along the Batavia Riverwalk.
The Model E windmill displayed on the Riverwalk, is patriotically depicted in red, white, and blue colors so often favored by the U.S. Wind Engine & Pump Company. The wood that forms the red tower-within-a-tower was cut from telephone poles in order to support the massive fourteen-foot diameter solid-wheel design wooden wheel.
The Riverwalk exhibit currently has seven examples of Batavia manufactured windmills. Most manufacturers are represented with a selection of Models and dates of production. All of the windmills are accompanied by a plaque with the history of the manufacturer and the particular model represented. Come take a walk on the Batavia Riverwalk to see these beauties operating as the day they were first erected.
On the Riverwalk
Halliday Vaneless Windmill – circa 1880-1890
Donated by the Swanson Family in Memory of Aurthur Swanson
Challenge Vaneless “Model 1913” Windmill
Challenge “OK” Model Windmill – manufactured from 1885-1914
Challenge Steel Windmill – manufactured from 1906-1927
Goodhue Special Windmill – manufactured from 1902-1927
Model “E” Windmill – first invented in 1867
Challenge 27 Windmill – manufactured from 1927-1942
Farm Show Display
Challenge Windmill Tail