This might surprise you, but the windmill that stands in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park is the only windmill of its kind in the entire world!
The tall Tustin style windmill located in the yard behind Seeley Stable is an accurate 2009 reconstruction of the one built in 1870 for Albert Seeley’s Cosmopolitan Hotel. Back then, its design represented the latest in windmill technology.
The Tustin style windmill was invented by pioneering manufacturer William Isaac Tustin, who came to California in a wagon train in 1845. His first job was working for John A. Sutter before the discovery of gold several years later at Sutter’s Mill.
Tustin claimed that he built California’s very first windmill, in Benica in 1849.
The unique Tustin style windmill is self-regulating, with a wheel that turns to face the wind at variable angles, controlling the speed of the blades’ rotation.
Originally, this windmill was erected to raise water from a well and store it in a wooden cistern, which you can see in my photos.
And it still works today!
Old Town’s one-of-a-kind, historic windmill is usually disabled, however, because the noise it makes when operating is quite loud!