The windmill on the Schopersberg outside Schneeren was the last to be built in the village in 1871. As opposed to the earlier wooden post mills, this was a Dutch type masonry tower mill with a revolving roof, four sails and a fantail. According to the keystone above the south door it was built by H.Dettmer and his wife, but by the 1880s it was owned by the Asche family, who still run a pub and traditional restaurant in the village. They sold the ruined building to our grandparents in 1957.
The windmill worked as a grainmill until 1947 when it was struck by lightning. Some old Schneereners still remember taking their grain to the mill in small wooden handcarts when they were children and playing in the dusty interior or climbing the sails. At this point the Asche family decided that new technology had overtaken the old windmill and it was left standing as a momentous ruin on top of the bare hill. At least it survived, unlike the identical windmill in Mardorf (4,5km along a new cycle path), also built in 1871, which was pulled down.
The following pictures show the windmill respectively in 1900, 1950, 1950 and 1962.
In 1957 our grandparents were looking for a new home for their growing family and bought the old windmill with financial help from our great-grandmother. The family of six, plus dog, moved into the renovated building in 1962. Ten years later the renovation was completed. The windmill had a new coat of white plaster to protect the brickwork and new sails and a fantail. Our grand-uncle, a well-known Munich architect, built a fashionable extension and school, work and life continued on an even path until the late 1970s. Then our grandfather moved out, the children left home and in the end only our grandmother was left with no money to maintain the buildings. She braved the continuing decline for 30 years and died shortly after our grandfather in 2007/8.
The following pictures show the outside of the windmill respectively in 1970, 2012, 2012 and 2013.
We - the English faction of the family - took over in 2012. The windmill, which was then in a state of fair disrepair, was renovated with the help of the German National Trust and EU funds. All works were carried out by Burkhardt Bau (Laatzen near Hanover) under the supervision of the architects Plaehn & Lüdemann from Hanover, all of whom did an excellent job. Many helpers came from England and local people also generously contributed hands-on help and advice. The windmill is now a fully functioning holiday home and ready for visitors.
The following pictures show the windmill during and after the restauration period between 2012 and 2016.