Photo by Fred HightRon Siebler remembers riding, often on horseback, to check on windmills as a kid on his grandfather’s Nebraska farm.

“He would hang metal cups on the windmills so we could always have something to drink from,” Siebler says. “I can still taste that water. Water from a windmill is the coldest, purest, sweetest-tasting liquid ever.”

The paralegal-turned-remodeler and historic restoration expert, who lives near White Rock Lake, has restored two vintage windmills. He does it using the tools and methods of the late 1800s-early 1900s.

The first one, near his family’s farm in Nebraska, was on display in a local museum for a year after it was completed. The other, in Lantana, Texas, was damaged by hail and out of use for decades.

There is some crossover between historic restoration and home remodeling, Siebler says. Because of his knowledge of ancient tools and methods, he was brought in to work on a home that was fashioned after “Harry Potter” and “The Hobbit” in Preston Hollow.

“Remodeling is different than building in that we often get to be a part of the solution, be creative and have a say in what is being created,” he says.

Siebler’s grandfather died years ago at age 99, but Siebler still has some of those old tin cups that used to hang from the Nebraska windmills.

“The windmills I restore each get their own tin cup,” he says.