History of the mill

1550: Earliest mention of this mill (Bockwindmühle) as Gaster Mühle.

1717: In the meantime, the mill had become a sovereign mill. Johann Janssen Muhlen became the tenant of the mill property for six years. The annual rent was 94 Reichsthaler. This lease was cancelled before the end of the 6 years.

1731: Leasehold of the mill granted to Melchert Renken Goldenstein.

1781: New tenant of the mill: Roolf Rieken Janssen. At that time, the mill was called ‘Westgaster Mühle’ for the first time.

1794: Rolf Rieken Janssen was again named as tenant.

1818: The predecessor of today’s Westgast mill stood as a trestle windmill 300 metres north-east of the current location on the Mühlenlohne. Owner: Claes Ulrich’s heirs.

1834: According to the Mühlenbrand Societät Ostfr. (proof 1 September 1834), the ‘Rockenmühle’ on the Gaste’ was insured for 4,000 holl. Gulden insured. Focke Duits, widow, née Böhming, was listed as the owner.

1846: Miller Ode Gerdes is named as the owner of the mill.

1856: O.F. Onnen, now the new owner of the mill, had the old stand mill demolished in 1857, but rebuilt on today’s Alleestraße. The demolished mill was located on the corner of Mühlenlohne and Mühlenweg.

1857: According to Mühlenbrand Societät Ostft. (proof 1 October 1858, the Pelde and flour mill was insured for 8300 holl. Gulden insured. In terms of the sum insured, this mill could have been a two-storey gallery Dutchman, comparable to the two-storey mill in Nesse built in 1856, which was insured for 8300 Dutch guilders at the time. Gulden at the time.

1862: Destruction of the mill by fire. The cause was a lightning strike.

1863: Reconstruction of the mill by Onnen at its current location as a 3-storey Galerie Holländer. The mill still had a ‘Steert’ until 1921.

1921: A strong storm tore down the mill cap with wing cross. The falling wings destroyed the gallery and the mill’s outbuilding. The mill almost looked like a ruin.

1922: Franz Hinrichs acquired the mill from the last owner within the Onnen family, Hinrich Onno.

1925: Acquisition of a suction gas engine for secondary operation.

1928: A 25 hp Deutz diesel engine replaced the old suction gas engine.

1930s: Two of the three wind-powered grist milling gears were removed, replaced by an electric motor-driven grist milling gear with a diameter of 1.30 metres and conversion to fine milling. In addition, 2 double roller mills were installed, driven by a 40 hp Deutz diesel engine.

1950: The mill had 8 employees at the time: 2 drivers, 2 apprentices, 2 journeymen as well as the owner Franz Hinrichs and his son-in-law Friedrich Hartwig.

1974: Transfer of the mill business to Friedrich Hartwig.

1975: Cessation of wind operation. In the following years, only motorised power was used. The mill was mainly operated as an agricultural business.

1983: Makeshift repair of the sails, the cap and the octagonal cover. The wind rose was also partially renewed. Millwright Böök from Dunum undertook this work. At the time, the mill was managed by Friedrich Hartwig, his son Werner and F. Hartwig’s brother-in-law Ibbo Hinrichs.

1987: Cap repair by the company Böök, Dunum. However, wind operation was not possible. Reason: breakage of the wing spars – resulting in pressure on the axle. June: Friedrich Hartwig was unable to continue running the mill due to illness. A successor could not be found. November: Mill and outbuildings were put up for sale.

1988: January: The entire mill estate was bought at auction by the antiques dealer Eint Meyer from Norden Nadörst. March: The mill property changed hands again. Gerhard Campen and a Bremen-based industrial investment company acquired the mill. Campen’s aim was to restore and preserve the mill and the miller’s house as an ensemble. April: Foundation of the Westgaster Mühlenverein e.V. This was established to maintain and operate the mill. A corresponding lease agreement between the owner and the mill association was concluded for 30 years.

1989: Damage to the louvre blades due to strong gusts of wind.

1990: August: Removal of the sashes for renewal. December: Removal of the dilapidated cap. December: Master miller Friedrich Hartwig passes away. He was the last windmiller at the Westgast mill.

1991: March: Insertion of the old axle into the new mill head. May: Levelling of the cap. July: Installation of the new mill cap. Gerhard Campen became the sole owner of the mill.

1992: July: Installation of the two new pairs of wings, which were manufactured in Oudeschanz in the Netherlands.

1998: In this year, the mill festival ‘Döschgen un Müllern’ and the 10th anniversary of the mill association were celebrated. The entire mill ensemble (miller’s house and functioning mill) are once again a centre of attraction for many visitors.

2006: Renewal of the worn gallery.

2009: Renewal of the canopy perimeter and parts of the flying timber.

2014: Renewal of the wind rose trestle.

2018: Repainting of the wings.

2019: Woodworm control and suspension attached to the front wheel.

2020: Martin Campen takes over the mill as heir to his father and previous owner Gerhard Campen, who died on 26 December 2019; renovation of the dilapidated joint beam and the gear discs of the wind rose.

2022: Repainting of the gallery incl. Schoren. Renewal of the covers and fuses of the cellar shaft.

2023: Renewal of the staircase. Woodworm control in the engine house and bakehouse.