Windmill from Shikhiri Village (Mid-19th Century), Reassembled at Khokhlovka Architectural Preserve, Russia


This photograph of a log windmill from the village of Shikhiri (or Shikhari, Ocher District, Perm' Region) was taken in 1999 by Dr. William Brumfield, American photographer and historian of Russian architecture, as part of the "Meeting of Frontiers" project at the Library of Congress. This stout log structure was built in the mid-19th century by Kuz'ma Rakhmanov, a prosperous peasant from the region of the Ocher River (a western tributary of the Kama River). Constructed with squared pine logs tightly joined in a mortise and tenon (dovetail) technique, the basic octagonal structure is 8.5 meters tall. The cap of this tower mill rotated to face prevailing winds. Wooden poles (not visible here) braced the position from behind. The four blades, with wooden frames (here reconstructed), transferred torque to a horizontal axis whose gears engaged a large vertical log shaft. Grain was ground into flour by two grindstones of blue sandstone. The lower part of the structure had a small compartment with a metal stove for the miller. The windmill remained in the same family until 1931, when it was taken by a collective farm. It continued to operate until 1966. In 1977-78 it was restored and reassembled at the Khokhlovka Architecture-Ethnographic Museum, located to the north of Perm’, on the Kama River Reservoir.

Last updated: January 11, 2016