In 1982, at the age of 82, Richard Storkfelt, a Danish immigrant, built a 10-foot tall working windmill in his backyard in Sharon, Massachusetts. It was modeled after the one in Ebeltoft, Denmark where he spent the summer at his grandmother’s house during much of his childhood. He later decided to build a replica of her house which, once completed, was placed next to the windmill.
The creation of his grandmother’s house inspired Storkfelt to recreate the village of Ebeltoft, including the historic town hall from 1576, along with more than fifty hand-carved figures to inhabit it. His final work of art was a church, complete with working clock that was finished when he was 97 years old. The congregation in the church depicts the marriage ceremony of one of his granddaughters.
An article about the Village appeared in the Boston Globe caught the attention of a curator at the Fuller Museum of Art. An exhibition for the Ebeltoft Village was arranged to begin in September 1998. Unfortunately, Storkfelt died in March and was unable to see his art on display at the museum.
The Ebeltoft Village was gifted to the Danish Windmill by the Museum of Danish America, which had received the striking folk art creation from the Fuller Museum of Art in Brockton, Massachusetts in 1999. A grant received from the Shelby County Community Foundation assisted with funding this project.