Corn roast benefits historic windmill

An image of the Prairie Mills Windmill

Fresh corn on the cob was on the menu at the fundraiser in Golden, Illinois Sunday.

All of the proceeds from this event were donated to preserve a historic landmark.

Derik Ihnen feels a deep connection to the Prairie Mills Windmill.

"It's something to bring the community together and its history," Ihnen said.

The Golden Historical Society purchased the windmill in 1986.

However, there was no money to maintain it.

"When we first started out, we had zero dollars and we had to do everything just to pay the light bill. It was really a struggle," Kay Lord, chairman of the dining hall, said.

"We needed funds to restore the windmill. It was all done with not machinery, but with hand tools that they actually used in 1880s, when it was built," Kenneth Flesner, president of the Golden Historical Society, said.

In order to raise money for the windmill, a special fundraiser was created.

"We have Golden's annual Sweet Corn Festival," Flesner said. "And it is a dinner to raise funds to help us support the windmill and keep it going."

"This is a one-day event, our sweet corn roast and we obtain about 90 dozen ears of corn," Lord said.

A number of years ago, Ihnen became one of the cooks for this event.

"Its hot, sweaty work sometimes. And you do a lot of work nobody ever sees," Ihnen said.

Ihnen enjoys knowing his contribution is helping to keep the windmill open.

"I like doing my part to keep it going," Ihnen said.

More than 300 people shared this savory experience.