A rededication ceremony was held at the Beebe Windmill on Ocean Rd. in Bridgehampton this past weekend to mark the completion of major repairs made to the historic structure. The Town of Southampton allocated funds to ensure the preservation of the landmark, and work that included recreating the sails, replacing the rotted main beams, reconstructing the fantail, and replacing exterior shingles began in 2007. Noted restoration expert Robert Hefner monitored the project and Richard Ward Baxter, a highly skilled artisan with experience in historic renovations, and his crew completed the work.
The windmill was built in 1820 by Samuel Schellinger in Sag Harbor for Captain Lester Beebe, a retired whaling captain and shipbuilder. It was sold and relocated several times until 1914 when it was acquired by John E. Berwind and moved to his estate in Bridgehampton. His widow bequeathed the windmill to the Town of Southampton in memory of her husband, and it continues to stand on the Berwind Memorial Green on Ocean Road. The building has become a local landmark, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.
“This windmill is part of our roots and history on the East End and it is important that this structure be preserved for future generations to enjoy,” said Councilman Chris Nuzzi as he addressed town officials, representatives from the Bridgehampton Historical Society, Bridgehampton Village Improvement Society, and others who came out for the rededication ceremony. Superintendent of Parks, Allyn Jackson added, “the project took quite some time to complete, but I am very pleased with the results.”