This is an old technology brought here by new immigrants. It represents the beginning of modern life in a hard wilderness. This wind-powered gristmill was built in 1870 by Fred Meiss, Jr., and Otto Fiek near Spring Creek, from parts of the first windmill in the new state of Texas, erected by E.G. Witte. The millstones are the ones Witte imported from Europe and are believed to be one of the earliest sets in the United States to survive.
Wind dynamics were a major consideration in building such a huge structure. When winds blow against the building, they are deflected up over the roof, creating a partial vacuum that can draw the roof up with a force several times greater than the direct force of the wind. Wind tunnel testing on a model helped designers decide that a semi-parabolic shape would best resolve air current concerns.