Billingsley windmill standing tall

County Road 12: Billingsley Windmill

BILLINGSLEY, Ala. (WSFA) - Folks in Billingsley have their eye on the sky these days, and it has nothing to do with the weather. It’s all thanks to a man named Robert Freeman.

“If I ain’t building, I ain’t happy,” said Freeman. “I’m in the steel business. I’ve been doing this since I was 19.”

Earlier this year his sister Carolyn put him to the test.

“I’ve always liked windmills,” said Carolyn Smith. “I told him I wanted a windmill because I saw some smaller versions, but he said Carolyn I’m gonna build you a windmill, it’s going to be bigger and made with love.”

So, Freeman went to work. He drew up all the plans and had the family help him put it together on the weekends.

"When you build something you've never built before, the size has to be correct, along with the blade size and platforms, so I started drawing it,” said Freeman. “I think the hardest part is the weight of the blades, they are over 400 pounds.”

It’s pretty easy to see, even from the road. As you can imagine this 30-foot tall structure has neighbors talking.

"Some people were saying we were putting up something to create power, others thought we were drilling for oil,” said Freeman.

Well, they’re not generating power, and they didn’t strike it rich, but for Carolyn her new windmill is as good as gold.

"It's a beautiful windmill created with love,” said Smith. "I’ve always been impressed with him. He gets it in his head and just goes with it. He's brilliant."

Freeman even impressed himself.

“When I look out at it, It think ‘you done it right,’” he said.

That may be his last windmill, at least for a while. When he’s not working full time, he’s building a home for his mother.

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