Arrives at the Danish Windmill!
In 1982, at the age of 82, Richard Storkfelt, a Danish immigrant, began the construction of Ebeltoft Village by constructing a 10-foot tall working windmill in his backyard in Sharon, Massachusetts. In 1985, he built a miniature replica of his grandmother's house that stood in Ebeltoft, Denmark, where Richard spent much of his childhood summers. In 1990, Richard decided to build a larger, outdoor version of his grandmother's house. Once completed, the house was placed next to the windmill. The creation of the house inspired Richard to recreate the entire village of Ebeltoft. Between the years of 1990-1991, Richard built his grandmother's outhouse, followed by the town hall in 1993. A yellow house was created in 1994. And his final work of art was a church, complete with working clock that was completed in 1997 when Richard was 97 years old.
As Richard produced these 1/8 scale buildings, he also inhabited the village. The village eventually consisted of over 50 figures, including horses, storks, a dog, and a princess. Three figurines, Perot (the clown), Columine (ballerina), and Harlequin, are replicas of porcelain figurines Richard bought in Denmark. Many of the carved inhabitants of the village were based on family members and friends of Richard's. He also carved himself at different stages of his life. For example, the man with a cane and spats and bowler hat is Richard at 22 years old and the lady in Sunday clothing accompanying him is his wife Dagmar at age 16. In the church, the congregation depicts the marriage ceremony of one of his granddaughters.
The Ebeltoft Village was gifted to us by the Museum of Danish America, whom received the striking folk art creation from the Fuller Museum of Art in Brockton, Massachusetts in 1999.
The Windmill received a grant from the Shelby County Community Foundation to assist with this project. The Ebeltoft Village is currently under construction on the Windmill grounds; therefore, more information will be released as it becomes available.