A new land­mark on Red Belt Road.

The Catoosa County News - - FRONT PAGE - By Ta­mara Wolk

Randy Garner al­ways wanted a wind­mill and now he has one.

On May 19, 65 of Garner’s friends, fam­ily and neigh­bors gath­ered at his Ca­toosa County home, Red Belt Red An­gus Farm, for a wind­mill-rais­ing. The 40-foot wind­mill with an eight-foot sail span lay on its side on the ground, wait­ing for the big mo­ment, as guests stood un­der trees talk­ing lo­cal pol­i­tics, farm­ing and gen­eral chit-chat.

Among the guests were peo­ple Garner and his wife, Vicki, hadn’t seen since re­tir­ing from TVA 13 years ear­lier.

Garner found his wind­mill on Craig’s List. “I get on Craig’s List ev­ery morn­ing to look for things I need or want,” he says. “I found the wind­mill in Le­banon, Ten­nessee.”

It took Garner nine months to as­sem­ble the 1935 wind­mill that was man­u­fac­tured in Chicago then in­stalled in Palmyra, Mo., and even­tu­ally found its way to Ten­nessee. Dur­ing that time, he con­tacted a li­brar­ian in Palmyra who put him in touch with a his­to­rian.

“We didn’t know when the wind­mill had been made at first,” says Garner. “The his­to­rian was able to track it down based on the name of the com­pany printed on one leg of the wind­mill.”

It turned out that the name of the com­pany had changed three years in a row, which helped the his­to­rian pin­point the wind­mill’s year of birth to 1935.

“I tried to keep the wind­mill as close to orig­i­nal as possible,” says Garner. “I con­sulted with a man in Texas who was able to give me ad­vice on get­ting it put to­gether and work­ing.”

The func­tion­ing wind­mill, which will pump fresh wa­ter from a spring the Garn­ers dis­cov­ered when dig­ging to put in a pool, to a fresh wa­ter pond, still has wood rods. Garner added gal­va­nized at­tach­ments to the ends of them. He built the pump that’s in­stalled in the ground and chose not to paint the wind­mill.

When the big mo­ment came, the guests stopped talk­ing and watched as the wind­mill inched its way up­ward, as­sisted by ropes and trac­tors. Garner had ac­tu­ally erected it days ear­lier in a trial run to make sure ev­ery­thing would go smoothly.

As the wind­mill set­tled to an up­right po­si­tion, the wind caught its sails, the winged wheel started to turn and the guests erupted in ap­plause. Af­ter a short time watch­ing the slow mes­mer­iz­ing turn of the metal against a cloudy sky, the crowd hiked to the Garner’s front yard where soft drinks, hot dogs and pas­tries awaited.

“The wind­mill will be a new land­mark around here,” says Garner.

The wind­mill rais­ing has in­spired Garner and his wife to start a tra­di­tion: an an­nual get­to­gether of friends and fam­ily.

(Ca­toosa News photo/Ta­mara Wolk)

Randy Garner found a 1935 wind­mill on Craig’s List and in­vited friends, fam­ily and neigh­bors to a wind­mill rais­ing at his Ca­toosa County farm.

(Ca­toosa News photo/ Ta­mara Wolk)

Stand­ing at 40-feet tall, Randy Garner’s wind­mill is a new land­mark along Red Belt Road.

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