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The Telegraph Avenue Windmill is a small, windmill-shaped building near the former site of the Lemmon Herbarium. The address is 5977 Telegraph Ave.

It is a few blocks north of the former site of Idora Park. There have been various theories about the origin of the windmill over the years, but according to the owners of Steele's Discount Scuba a couple of doors over, and also according to Gail Lombardi of Oakland's Cultural Heritage Survey:
 (a) it was not part of Idora Park
 (b) it was not part of a miniature golf course
 (c) it was a lemonade or hamburger stand.

According to an SFGate article from 2000, it was constructed in 1932 and the business didn't last long. 2 A classified from 1932 lists "hamburger stand, low rent, cute" at 5979 Telegraph:

1932 3

RUMOR MILL: Of course, some startups prove sturdier than others.

Consider the lemonade stand that opened on the 5900 block of Telegraph Avenue in Oakland in 1932.

The business failed, but the structure that housed it -- a sheet-iron windmill, remains one of the city's more curious landmarks.

Neighborhood legend has it that the windmill is a relic from Idora Park, an outdoor amusement center that used to operate on Aileen Street. Others believe it once stood at the heart of a nearby miniature golf course.

Apparently not, says Gail Lombardi of the Oakland Cultural Heritage Survey.

According to city records, the windmill was built for $100 nearly 70 years ago to house a lemonade stand that soon went sour.

It later became a record store, but has stood vacant for some 30 years. 2

For a time in the 1960s, it was the home of Butch's Record Mill, a (very small) record store owned by Butch Bounds. 1

The Combination 1966-12 1

It was not on the 1911 Sanborn map, but appears on the 1950 one, so is definitely no older than 1911.

1950 Sanborn excerpt

Links and References

  1. Let's Meet...Mister Bounds The Combination magazine December 1966 via Oakland Public Library
  2. Rumor Mill September 15, 2000
  3. classified ad Oakland Tribune December 11, 1932