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  • Dan Crouch

Dexter Horizontal Windmill and Courthouse Museum Open in Urana

The Dexter Horizontal Windmill has been restored in Urana. Picture: Federation Council on Facebook.

Urana has celebrated some of its richest history with the grand openings of the Dexter Horizontal Windmill and Urana Courthouse Museum.

On June 21 the Windmill and Museum were declared open during a ceremony at the Urana Courthouse Museum itself which featured guest speakers and representatives from the region, a screening of Freddie Fox - The boy from Urana - and a new book showcasing his many hats, the unveiling of several new exciting community projects, and a free community lunch.

The Urana Courthouse Museum holds all of the information about the windmill including a history of the windmill's restoration, as well as hosting a wide range of Urana's family and local history.

When The Dexter Horizontal Windmill burnt down in 1999 the Urana Arts and Historical Society at the time approached the farm owners at the time and asked if they could collect all the parts and rebuild it on the lakes of on the Urania Aquatic Centre lakes.

In 2004 The Shire Engineer, Heritage Advisor and the Urana Arts and Historical Society, worked together to try to get all the parts reworked, re-manufactured, and replaced so it could be something that would be open to the public.

In 2018 the Federation Council approached Urana Inc. - a volunteer organization - and asked to partner together to apply for one of the New South Wales regional culture fund grants, which they were successful in receiving; the grant money allowed them to fund the rebuild of the Windmill.

The two groups used part of the grant money to recruit Tim Matt - a windmill expert and one of the original members of the group to find and re-engineer the parts of the windmill - as project manager. Tim rebuilt the whole thing with the help of some of the engineering firms out at Hay.

The Dexter Horizontal Windmill is one of only two of its kind left in the world and became a landmark of Urana in the 1860s. The windmill was imported from America to Coonong Station for a pastoral farm owner in the region at the time.

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