Rengstorff House

"R" House News

A SIGN OF THE TIMES

Wind and Water Bring Life to the Farm!

First the water tower, dedicated 2005. Then the windmill, dedicated 2008. Now the final act, the interpretive sign, erected 2011. All the players can take a bow.

Imaginative graphics. Creative text, which reads, in part:

The windmill provided the lifeblood of the farm - water! Windmills were used to pump water from underground aquifers. The windmill was a common site in the 1850s when Henry Rengstorff started farming in Santa Clara County.

The tower supported the storage tank which was filled by the pumping windmill. Plumbing from the tank allowed the fields and garden to be irrigated and provided water for livestock. Mrs. Rengstorff was a lucky woman when her house was plumbed for indoor water, which she used to cook, drink and bathe.

Today this windmill no longer pumps water, but it reminds us of how water made a difference between success and failure in farming ... and settling the arid west.

For it's first 45 years this 1930s Montgomery Ward windmill pumped water for the house across the street from the original Rengstorff site on Stierlin Road (now Shoreline Blvd.)

Then, after several years at the Pumpkin Patch on Grant Road in Mountain View, it was donated to the Friends of "R" House.

Everyone is invited to come out and view our sign of the times - the times of the Valley's pioneers and their legacy of progress and innovation, handed down to all the following generations.

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