Eastham Windmill // 1793

Built in 1793, the Eastham Windmill on the old Town Green is the oldest workable gristmill on Cape Cod. Typical of Cape Cod, Eastham’s windmill is an octagonal , “hat and smock” or Flemish design in which the revolving top or hat can be rotated to direct the sails into the wind. Local historians contend that Thomas Paine, a noted early millwright and resident of Eastham, most likely built the Eastham Windmill in the late eighteenth century. Some sources state that the windmill was likely built in Plymouth and later moved to Truro and eventually to Eastham in 1793. In 1895, the women of the Village Improvement Society raised money to purchase the windmill and two adjoining properties from private ownership for $ 113.50. Around the turn of the twentieth century, the windmill became a local tourist attraction and the subject of postcards and souvenirs. The windmill is now the main attraction of the annual Eastham Windmill Weekend.