Seymour officials are at a loss over what to do with a piece of city history that won’t be easy or cheap to move.
A 16.5-ton flywheel, which once generated electricity to power the Blish Milling Co. in Seymour, currently sits on property at 1100 N. U.S. 31 in Reddington.
The Seymour Board of Public Works and Safety loaned the artifact to the Reddington Rear Wheelers antique tractor club in 2009. At that time, club members raised enough money to move the wheel from where it was discarded at Freeman Municipal Airport to club member Hubert Hazard’s property in Reddington.
They created a public display at the site where people could stop to learn about the flywheel and have their picture taken with it.
"We did it as a favor to the Rear Wheelers," Mayor Craig Luedeman said of the deal. "They did a really good job of cleaning it up and taking care of it."
After Hazard passed away in 2012, his daughter, Pam Obermeyer, inherited the property. She requested the city remove the wheel in August 2018 because of liability concerns, but Luedeman said he wanted to give the club time to find a way to relocate it.
The Reddington Rear Wheelers relinquished their interest in the flywheel last month. Club representative Rodger Ruddick said they don’t have the money to move it, and even if they did, they don’t have anywhere to put it.
Luedeman said it will take major equipment to lift and haul the wheel and estimated it will cost $2,000 to $5,000.
City councilmen John Reinhart and Jim Rebber both have voiced their support of keeping the flywheel in Seymour. Luedeman said he agrees.
"I want to see it somewhere, preferably in Seymour," he said. "My goal is to find somewhere in Seymour where it will be displayed. It’s part of Seymour’s history."
One suggestion made by residents Roger and Becky Brewer is to move the wheel to Crossroads Community Park in the downtown. The park sits along Tipton Street (U.S. 50) across from the location of the old mill.
"The mill was a very key part of the history of Seymour, and that wheel would be an interesting item to display in that location," the couple wrote in an email to the city council.
At the Sept. 26 board of works meeting, Luedeman requested the matter be tabled until the next meeting Oct. 10.