|20160811 4243 2016 Sycamore Farm Show|
Steve OConnor posted some pictures with the comment:
The Challenge Windmill Company, Batavia - This property that is known as the Challenge Windmill plant has had a colorful history. In 1857, Nelson Burr founded the first wooden pump company which grew to become Challenge Windmill and Feed Company. At that time, the plant was powered by water and wind. The buildings at one time covered over 165,000 feet on eight acres. Since then the wooden and other structures have all been removed. The 515 building was a foundry and the 525 building was a wood shop powered by the mill race below. The 415 building was a machine shop, also powered by a water turbine. The 335 building was for assembly and storage. The company prospered until the early 20th century. During World War II, munition shell casings were produced in the foundry. This is where the colorful part of the Challenge Co. starts. In 1946, Dr.Henry Garsson, Murray Garsson, and Congressman May were found guilty of conspiracy to defraud the government and war-bribery. During the war, they had fraudulently obtained $78,000,000 in war contracts. The Challenge Co. was one of several companies that they had purchased with no funds of their own. The trial heard over 100 witnesses and lasted over eleven weeks. Witnesses included General Eisenhower, Secretary of State George C.Marshall and Secretary of War Robert Patterson. In 1949, the property was purchased at an auction and the buildings were leased for manufacturing and warehousing to multiple tenants. In 1992, the conversion to office use started.