Enterprising miller Rasmus Pedersen built Lumby Mill in 1820, when his mill in Hasmark proved too small. He encountered great difficulties in obtaining permission to build the mill, because the other local millers opposed the construction of a large new mill north of Odense. However, after making a direct appeal to King Frederik VI, he received permission in 1816 and the mill stood finished four years later. It was based on the windmill at Svanemøllen in Copenhagen, where Rasmus Pedersen served his apprenticeship.
When construction was completed, Rasmus had a stone plaque mounted in the wall above the mill gateway bearing the following inscription:
I Guds Varetægt du staa
Mølle trygt, din Vinge iile,
Kværnen løbe, Grubben gaa.
Liden Ro og sielden Hvile
Maleværk og Svende faae.
Giv, o Gud, vort Stræben Held
Maleværk og Svende faae.
Giv, o Gud, vort Stræben Held.
Hver Mand her skeed Ret og Skiel.
Rasmus Pedersen was a shrewd businessman and the mill flourished. He therefore bought a house in Stige, where he fitted out a shop and sold his products to skippers who docked to stock up on supplies.
Rasmus Pedersen died in 1857 at the age of 81. His children carried on the business until 1911, when the mill was sold at auction. After changing hands several times in quick succession, the mill came into the possession of miller Martin Christensen. He modernised the mill, installing a kerosine engine, fantail (a device which automatically keeps the sails facing into the wind) and a generator to produce electricity.
In 1935, miller Peter Christoffersen took over Lumby Mill and ran it as a feedstuff business until 1965, when the mill closed as a business.
Lumby Mill, together with its buildings, was listed (i.e. protected by law) in 1959.
In 1970, the organisation ‘Danske Møllers Venner’ (Friends of Danish Mills) bought the mill with the intention of establishing a workshop that would produce components to be used in the restoration of other mills. In connection with this, a small building was built to house a large block saw, which was bought from the shipyard in Assens. The first steps were taken to restore the mill, but at the beginning of the 1980s Lumby Mill was still as derelict as so many other mills in Denmark at that time.
The local residents thought this was a great shame because, in its heyday, Lumby Mill was one of the largest windmills in Denmark. Out of this concern came formation of the association Lumby Møllegaard which had the aim of saving the mill and its immediate surroundings and buildings. The first results of the association’s efforts became apparent already in the middle of the 1980s – the mill now had sails! And in 1988, Lumby Mill was featured on a Danish stamp in recognition of the enormous amount of voluntary work invested in restoring the old windmill.
A further 15 years would elapse before the mill was completely restored and fully operational, with machinery that could grind grain into flour – and it is still functioning today.
The mill and its surroundings now form the centre for a wide range of activities.
Each year the association arranges various activity days, including folk-music rallies, art exhibitions, mill shop, flea market, arts and crafts days, Christmas market, working artisans and craftsmen, and much more – together with guided tours of the mill. Visitors can also enjoy coffee and cakes from the Coffee Shop in the lovely mill garden next to the old avenue of lime trees. If there is enough wind, the mill will be in action, grinding grain into flour so visitors can see how this was done in the past.
The local craft association ensures that the old block saw is up and running for the benefit of the more than 6000 visitors who visit the mill every year. And each year at Midsummer, the local civic association organises a Midsummer Eve bonfire, where all of Northern Odense gathers at the mill.
All the work carried out in connection with the mill is voluntary and is done to provide an economic basis such that the mill, and the entire mill area, can be preserved for posterity.
Today, the mill is a rendezvous not just for locals, but also for people from all over Funen, who can visit the mill free of charge and enjoy their Sunday coffee in the beautiful mill garden. It is only thanks to the goodwill of foundations, the municipality and the many volunteers that this project is able to continue: Preserving a piece of Danish building culture and setting the scene for continued activities at Lumby Mill.