De Gekroonde Poelenburg

Amsterdam, Netherlands

De Gekroonde Poelenburg

De Gekroonde Poelenburg (The Crowned Poelenburg) is a paltrok mill in Zaandam, North Holland, Netherlands which has been restored to working order. As all Dutch paltrok mills it is a windpowered sawmill. The mill is listed as a Rijksmonument, number 40093. It is located at the Zaanse Schans in a group of several historic industrial windmills.

The history of De Gekroonde Poelenburg is rather complicated involving several distinct windmills. The first windmill on the original location of the first De Poelenburg in Zaandam-Oost was mentioned in 1733. It was named after its owner Pieter Jochemsz. Poelenburg. This mill burned down in 1903 and was replaced by a windmill from Koog aan de Zaan called De Locomotief (The Locomotive) which was renamed to De Gekroonde Poelenburg after the move. De Locomotief was newly built in Koog aan de Zaan in 1867 to replace the 200-year-old De Groene Jager (The Green Hunter) that had to be dismantled for the construction of a railway line by the HSM. Hence the name of the new mill. De Gekroonde Poelenburg, formerly De Locomotief, was working until 1950 after which it fell into disrepair. It was acquired by Vereniging De Zaansche Molen and moved to the Zaanse Schans in 1963. It was re-erected at the site of pealing windmill De Grootvorst that had burned down in 1928. The restored mill turned out to be very hard to wind and attempts to use this mill commercially were abandoned in 1966. Since then it is operated by volunteers. The winding problem was solved years later. In hindsight a misunderstanding on the weight distribution of paltrok mills may have caused the problem. It is now known that most of the weight should be carried by the central post and not evenly divided between post and roller ring (see below). Another misunderstanding was put right in 2005 when the black tar coating of 1963 was replaced by the original bright green paint.

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