Shortly before JMLT acquired Almond Ranch in 2019, a fierce winter storm felled its iconic windmill. A common sight in the East Bay a hundred years ago, these workhorses from the region’s ranching and agricultural heyday are scarce nowadays. A team of volunteers led by our own volunteer engineering guru Steve Harvey and ranger Glen have been working hard to restore it. Believe it or not, replacement parts are still available, even though the original dates back at least to the 1930s.
The team first constructed the 30-foot tall wooden base, then used a 75-foot crane to hoist the 300-pound, 8-foot diameter turbine to the top. The original windmill pumped water from a well underneath for thirsty cattle—today, it spins easily in the slightest breeze, a fond reminder of the area’s ranching heritage. Just 100 yards from the Mount Wanda gate, it is easy to spot next time you visit Almond Ranch.
Many thanks to our volunteers Steve Harvey, Dave Bartke, Katie Hill, Eliot Hudson, and Bill Weiner for making it all possible!