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St. Petrus windmill & motor mill

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in Roggel

The windmill in Nijken is the only remaining mill of Roggel. It is situated quite far outside the village along the road to Meyel. On 6 October 1900 Peter Johannes Hubertus Rutten was given permission to build a windmill in Nijkerveld. The new stone hill-topped grain mill was opera- tional as of 1901.

Jean or Sjang Rutten was born in Nunhem and was the first miller in the Leu mill. He moved to Rogge when the windmill had been completed in 1901. The following year, Rutten had a house with shed and stable built by the windmill.

In 1914 he placed a suction gas motor and grinding chair at the bottom of the windmill, consisting of a wooden stone bed on a brick base in a casemate of the mill’s hill. The grinding seat, which still exists, has conic driving gear and a pair of “15-er” artificial stones. The motor and the gas generator were built and set up by the Arnhemse Machinefabriek G.A. Aalsche & Co, a factory that constructed petroleum and gas motors and complete grind- ing setups in the early 20th century. In the late 1920s the motor was replaced by a Dekkers motor, of which the factory was in Roosendaal (North Brabant). An electric motor was placed in the early 1940s. At first Raemaekers experienced some competition from Rutten. In order to face up to this, Raemaekers placed a small motor pump in a farm shed that stood near Rutten 's windmill. This pump was only used for a short period. Apart from the grinding, the Rutten family also traded in grain, chemical fertilizer and fuel in the 1920s and 1930s. In addition, a few rooms in the mill house were furnished as a café. After the death of Sjang Rutten the business was continued by his widow Anna Maria Rutten- Vestjens with their two sons under the name "the heirs of J. Rutten" in 1921. She had half the bare ownership; the other half was in the name of the four children: Anna Maria Gertrudis, Jacobus Hubertus, Gertrudis Huberta and Wilhelmus Henricus Hubertus. After her death in 1924 there was a division of the estate and the last three children were assigned the mill with house, stable, garden and farmland.

The company was expanded and the windmill was improved after World War Two. In 1946 a warehouse was built, for which the largest part of the hill behind the mill was dug out. In the same year a different rod was placed that originally came from the windmill of Raemaekers. The Van Bussel streamline system was affixed to both rods. These activities were carried out by the then 80-year old mill maker Sjang Hendrickx from Beegden and his brother Sjef from Heel. There was another repair in 1953. Shortly afterwards the windmill was brought to a stop. In 1960 the Rutten heirs sold the business to Johannes Gerardus Hubertus and Hubertus Josephus Antonius Coe- nen, millers and animal feed traders in Heythuysen. The windmill wasn’t used and became dilapidated. The Coenen Company closed down the Roggel business a few years later. In 1969 they sold the windmill to the municipality of Roggel and the house with shed, which stood next to a provincial road, was sold to the province. In 1972 the simple characteristic miller house was demolished. The windmill was restored and grinding was re-enabled in 1975 by the Adriaens Bros. Company from Weert. Among others, two new Derckx rods were placed with a length of 24.50 m, which were attached in the Old Dutch way. In addition, the tail with wheel, roof covering and lofts were renovated. In the stone loft are a pair of “17-er” blue German stones and a pair of “17-er” artificial stones. When the repairs had ended, the mill was given the name "Saint Peter” after the patron saint of Roggel. Since the restoration, the mill has been grinding with the help of voluntary millers every Saturday. In 1983 the motor pump was complemented by purchase of a Thomassen diesel motor of 40 HP in case of a normal rotational speed of 255 revolutions per minute. The municipality of Roggel bought the motor upon the advice of miller Van Woezik of the water board "De Hoge en Lage Weide" in Utrecht, where it kept the "De Lage Weide" polder dry since 1930. Grinding had become superfluous when the polder was raised to become an industrial estate via sand fills. Van Woezik assembled the motor and the municipal- ity had the engine room done up. On 28 June 1987 the windmill and the diesel motor were officially put into operation with a mill fest.

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

Opening times: Saturday: 09:00 bis 13:00 clock and by appointment.

Adress: Nijken 24, 6088 NR Roggel, Phone: (+31) (0)6-25507748 or (+31) (0)6-54613755