"De Welvaart" mill

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in Horn

The small stone grain mill "De Welvaart" is on the same road at a short distance from "De Hoop" mill. Its name "De Welvaart" doesn’t refer to the dimensions. The mill has quite an upright shell with a small diameter, where two couples of “15-er” stones were situated in the stone loft. The grinding loft has a diameter of almost 4 m; the crown wheel has a diameter of 1.70 m measured on the pitch circle of the cogs. This diameter is usually 2 – 2.5 m. With a sail of 22.3 m and a gear ratio of 1:5.14, baking rye and feed grain could easily be ground with the small stone size.

The remarkable little mill was built by order of the miller Joseph or Pieter Joseph Aerts. He was born in Nederweert and later established himself as a miller in Weert. In 1864 the Provincial Government gave him permission to build a windmill in the hamlet of "Sanenkamp", which was in use as of 1864.

After the death of Aerts, his estate was divided in 1872 and his widow Johanna Maria van Brussel became the owner. She later moved to St. Odilienberg. In 1880 the Aerts widow sold the mill to Jan Michiel van de Voort. He bought “De Hoop" windmill three years later and sold "De Welvaart" mill in that same year to Jan or Johannes Hubertus Nijs, married to Maria Catharina Cornelissen and originally from Beegden. In 1889 Nijs had a miller’s house built by the mill. He died in 1924, after which widow Nijs continued the grinding business with Leo Linssen as her helper. Linssen bought the mill in 1929.

The following years the new owner had a large number of improvements carried out.
When Linssen still worked for widow Nijs as a helper, he had to go to the Hammer mill in Neer in case of long-term calm with a mill cart to have the grain ground there. As a self-employed miller he wanted to be independent. In the German town of Geldern, Linssen bought an electric double grinding seat with “16-er” stones. The grinding seat was placed against the mill’s shell in a bricked room, for which part of the mill’s hill was dug out.

In this period the mill still had a wooden axis and a wooden sail, which needed replacement.

Through mediation of Chr. van Bussel from Weert, Linssen paid for the entire demolition of the octagonal tower mill in Brummen (Gelderland) in 1933 for the price of 275 guilders. With a small adaptation of the shell, the roof with the English fantail, the mill’s axis with axle wheel and the sails. For unknown reasons, the mill’s rods were not used. Van Bussel set aside a couple of grinding stones with iron pole, pinion and other appurtenances for the reconstruction of the ground-sail mill in Nederweert-Kreyel, which had completely burned down in February 1933. Other parts of the driving gear were taken over by Jacques Bruekers in Nederweert.

In Hilvarenbeek (North Brabant), Linssen bought a used Fransen rod and in Neerkant (North Brabant) a Pot rod of the back of the "Oom Paul" windmill.

The renovation of the mill was carried out by mill maker Hub. Adriaens from Weert, who also obtained the rights to attach the patented Dekker streamlined vanes. The high roof also dates from this period, which was more oval-shaped be- fore this.

On the same night when the Germans put dynamite into "De Hoop" mill, preparations were also made to blow up "De Welvaart" mill. When the long-range British can- nons opened fire, the Germans left the mill and left it undisturbed.

The Dekker vanes were damaged during the shooting. In 1951 Linssen had Hub. Adriaens replace the old Pot rod by another used rod and the Dekker streamline system by the Van Bussel system. A long upper chord was made out of the Pot rod and positioned on the roof.

A few years later Linssen bought a hammer mill of the “Econoom" type from the Jaspers brothers from Aarle-Rixtel (North Brabant) and a mixer, which was positioned where the double grinding seat was. The mill’s grinding stones had also come into disuse and the mill was no longer kept up.

In 1970 the municipality of Horn took over the windmill with appurtenances from the Linssen family, followed by a restoration.

At the insistence of the Limburg Mill Foundation and Mayor K.J. van Gerven of Horn, who had a large share in the realisation of the restoration, streamlined vanes were reintroduced to both mills, which they had previously used, but were now provided with brake flaps. The restoration of "DeHoop" and "De Welvaart" ended with a huge mill fest on 16 August 1975.

The Horn mills never became active again. When there is wind, they turn two Saturdays a month. Grinding is no longer done.

Since 1950 the landscape, in which the mills were of such importance, was entirely changed. The land lost its agricultural purpose, the farms disappeared, housing plans were realised.

© P.W.E.A. van Bussel “De Molens van Limburg”. Publication rights obtained from the author’s son.

Opening times: By appointment

Adress: Molenweg 3, 6085 CK Horn, Phone: (+31) (0)475-562904