Vermeer Windmill – Pella, Iowa - Atlas Obscura
Our new kids' book is on sale! Shop now.

Pella, Iowa

Vermeer Windmill

This Iowa town celebrates its heritage with the tallest Dutch working windmill in North America. 

The people of Pella, Iowa, are incredibly proud of their Dutch heritage, and perhaps nothing in the town proclaims that more beautifully than the tallest working Dutch windmill in North America.

The Vermeer Windmill was first assembled in Holland, designed to resemble traditional 1850s Dutch grain mills. It was then taken apart and reassembled in Pella in 2002, where it sits on a four-story brick base, rising 124 feet, where it can catch the wind over the surrounding buildings.

The old school windmill is a town icon, but it’s also fully functional: Flour ground using only wind power is used by local restaurants to make breads and buns. Grain is brought in through double doors on the first floor of the windmill and raised through a series of trap doors to the millstones. The second and third floors of the windmill have museum displays, including a replica of where the miller’s family would have lived and a collection of models of various Dutch windmills.

The fifth floor offers a stunning view of the surrounding area. Similarly, the surrounding area offers picturesque views of the windmill from quite a ways away. The Vermeer Windmill makes a handsome centerpiece for annual Tulip Time Festival in Pella’s Historical Village.

Know Before You Go

If you are in Pella, check out the Jaarsma Bakery on the town Square. Pella also hosts a Tulip Festival every May.