The Aurora City Council decided last week to save a blue-and-white windmill known as the Dutch Mill that’s been a landmark on East Colfax Avenue since 1927. Originally built as a symbol of hospitality next to cottages that families of soldiers at nearby Fitzsimons Army Medical Center could rent, the structure has seen many different incarnations over the years -- including a very brief stint as a juggalo landmark.
In May, I wrote about Primos, a tire store owned by juggalos, a.k.a. fans of the Insane Clown Posse. Over the years, it had become a gathering place for fellow juggalos and juggalettes across Denver and the state by selling Faygo (ICP’s favorite soda) along with a host of other merchandise, and through promoting local horror-rap acts.
By 2004, Primos had grown so big that it was looking to expand beyond its shop at Alameda and Sheridan. Ernie Jones, one of the business’ founders, was then managing a trailer park on East Colfax that had once been home to those Fitzsimons-area cottages. The Dutch Mill still sat there, vacant, and Ernie and partner Flavio Arellano decided it was the perfect spot for a second Primos.
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According to them, the Aurora Police thought otherwise. Primos had planned to do an autograph signing there with local artists to commemorate their grand opening, but the descriptions of the event that reached the cops convinced them that a massive, riot-inciting concert was about to take place there. They say officers came to the windmill to tell the new tenants they would be responsible for any damages and advised them to close the business altogether because juggalos are considered a gang, and someone with a known gang affiliation can’t operate a business. (Aurora Police have no record of this incident, and won’t say whether they consider juggalos a gang, because they don’t name gangs.)
The Primos windmill location was only officially open one day.
Now the trailer park is being transformed into Brent’s Place, with apartments for families of kids with cancer being treated at Children’s Hospital, not unlike the original cottages. Fearing demolition of the old windmill, former Aurora Councilwoman Nadine Caldwell led a campaign to renovate and relocate it to Bicentennial Park. In the end, the council decided the Dutch Mill had too much history to let it be destroyed, even though Caldwell’s citizens group is $14,000 short of the $108,000 it will cost for repairs and the move.
If the windmill had stayed in the Primos family, juggalos might have been willing to make up the difference. -- Jessica Centers