The historic structure is the third-largest windmill produced by the Eclipse Company and one of only four known to still exist.
Historical preservation specialist Armando Lopez stands beside the giant fan of the restored Canon Ranch Railroad Eclipse Windmill. (Photo by Sue Hancock Jones)
Texas Tech University's National Ranching Heritage Center (NRHC) will dedicate its 1898 Canon Ranch Railroad Eclipse Windmill at 9:30 a.m. Saturday (April 2). The event is free to the public, and a light breakfast and refreshments will be provided.
“The 124-year-old Railroad Eclipse Windmill is the 55th structure to be restored and added to the historical collection of the National Ranching Heritage Center,” explained Scott White, NRHC's Helen DeVitt Jones Endowed Director of Collections, Exhibits and Research.
Standing more than 50 feet tall, the historic structure is the third-largest windmill produced by the Eclipse Company and one of only four known to still exist. The fan size is equivalent to four average-sized men lying on the ground in a straight line, White said.
Railroad Eclipse windmills were initially made to provide water for steam locomotives. This structure served as the primary source of water at the headquarters of the historic Canon Ranch in Pecos County, Texas. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1977 and restored in 2001 by nationally renowned windmill expert Jim Collums of Poteet, Texas, and his nephew, Woldhagen James.
The windmill and money for repairs were donated by the George M. Canon family. Additional financial support was provided by Andy Gray and James E. White. The Railroad Eclipse Windmill is placed by the 1923 Baldwin locomotive, where it is easily visible from the Marsha Sharp Freeway.
About the National Ranching Heritage Center
The NRHC is a 27-acre museum and historical park that offers educational programs and exhibits about ranching history and contemporary ranching issues. The center is located at 3121 Fourth St. in Lubbock and is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free, and the historical park is wheelchair and stroller accessible. For additional information, visit ranchingheritage.org or call (806) 742-0498.