Newsletter 2010

SPOCOTT WINDMILL NEWS, April 2010

Windmill Update

This has been a year of transition and change. The windmill and buildings have undergone a facelift with considerable repair and painting. Many of the buildings showed minor wear and some deterioration, and the trustees decided to put everything in top condition. The trim to the Miller’s House was repaired and in some cases replaced, and then painted. The schoolhouse was completely painted with all windows either rebuilt or repaired. The windmill itself is scheduled for a new roof, which should be on by the May 15th running.

Of paramount importance was a need to look at safety. Following a burglary of the Store and Museum in 2008, it was necessary to carefully examine safety and security. For this reason we canceled the fall 2009 running of the windmill. The trustees went over safety precautions when the windmill is in operation and recommended a series of operational protocols as well as some structural changes. As some of you may have noticed, the windmill itself is now gated and locked to prevent a potential accident when we are not present. A split rail fence will be constructed, once the ground finally dries, to control access around the blades when they are in motion. While we want the windmill to be accessible to all, safety must be our #1 concern.

Other changes are in planning:
1) The Travers Doctor’s Office and Medical Museum is still scheduled to be moved from Spocott up to the windmill site. We are hoping that this move can happen during this calendar year.
2) It is time for the Windmill Foundation to move into the digital age. On this year’s donation form, we are asking for your email if you have one. We hope to be able to better communicate with you through this and eventually send out mailings such as this digitally. We are also planning a website for the windmill both as a source of information and as a way to attract new support and visitors.

George M. Radcliffe (1919 – 2009)



As hopefully all of you are aware, George Radcliffe passed away unexpectedly on March 13 of last year. The windmill was such an important part of his life, and like his father, he invested a lot of time and love into it. Born in Baltimore, MD on June 9, 1919 to Senator George Radcliffe and Mary McKim Marriott Radcliffe, he was an only child. He graduated from Princeton University with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering in 1943 and during World War II, served as an aircraft maintenance engineer stationed on Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands, He received a Law Degree from the University of Maryland and practiced law for most of his career with the firm of Niles, Barton, and Wilmer.
On October 9, 1948, he married Augusta Boggs, who remained the love of his life for over 60 years. He leaves behind his son George who will continue his involvement with the windmill.
In Baltimore in the 50’s and 60’s, he chaired the first Planning and Zoning Commission that planned much of the revitalization for the city. He was an active member and past president of the
Rotary Club, past president and trustee of the Dorchester County Historical Society, past member of the Dorchester Hospital Board, past Trustee of Washington College, past president and active member of the Grace Foundation of Taylor’s Island, member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, and Parishioner and Eucharistic Minister at St. Mary’s Refuge of Sinners.
George actively encouraged environmental conservation on his family property, Spocott, and was the first landowner in the state to obtain a Conservation Easement for his property.
As active as George was, he always made time for the windmill. With his father, Senator Radcliffe, he founded the Windmill Foundation in 1971 and remained instrumental in its growth over the next 38 years, overseeing the planning and fund raising for the windmill and the subsequent addition of the miller’s cottage, schoolhouse, and blacksmith shop.

VOLUNTEER WORK DAY

To help us get the property and buildings in superior condition, we are having a volunteer work day on Sat., May 8 beginning at 9 AM. This is the weekend before the next running of the windmill. No skill is required; just wear old clothes and a smile. We will be sweeping, repairing, weeding, landscaping, and anything else needing attention. RSVP so we know how many to expect.

George Radcliffe
(H) 410-228-7670
eMail: radclifg@gmail.com

NEXT OPERATION

The next Windmill Day is Saturday, May 15 from 10 AM to 4 PM. We hope to see you there!

WE NEED YOUR HELP

Since a number of you sent memorial contributions after George Radcliffe’s death, we did not send out a 2009 fund raising mailing. But we do need your help in 2010. With the considerable repairs, new roof for the windmill, and planned moving of the Travers Doctor’s Office and Medical Museum, we will need additional funds. Thanks again so much for your past support. We are here because of you! Your donations are totally tax deductible.