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Dalley Windmill Museum
722 E. Lime Street Portales

It’s been billed as the largest privately owned windmill collection in the nation. The Dalleys had collected the relics of the plains over the last 30 years and had over 80 when the county agreed in 2011 to display them in a 12,600 square foot windmill park. The Dalleys displayed the collection at their home in east Portales for decades. Many of the windmills, which date back as far as the mid-1800s, came from the Roosevelt County area. That made it even more important to the Dalleys to keep them together in Portales. As the Great Plains and in particular the High Plains of eastern New Mexico and west Texas was settled windmills became an essential part of the landscape. With little surface water and no other means of powering a pump, settlers turned to wind power to bring life-giving water to the surface from as deep as 200 feet underground. The structures became landmarks to travelers and an oasis on the plains to cattle, cowboys and wild game. With rural electrification in the middle part of the 20th century, electric pumps replaced many windmills. The project of moving the windmills is continuing in early 2013 but a good number are on display at the fairgrounds and can be viewed at any hour. The Dalley Windmill Museum is located near the intersection of U.S. 70 and Lime Street in northeast Portales. It is visible from U.S. 70.