The windmill, Molen de Adriaan was built on the foundations of the Goevrouwetoren by Adriaan de Booys, an industrial producer from Amsterdam. The Goevrouwetoren, or Goede Vrouwtoren (Goodwife Tower), was a tower built to help defend Haarlem over the river Spaarne with its sister tower on the other river bank.
Between these two towers was a bridge, called Catrijne Gate “Catrijnepoort”. By the late 18th century, the gate was redundant due to the expansion of the city, and de Booys bought the tower and the land around it from the municipality of Haarlem on April 24, 1778. The new mill was built to 34 meters above the level of the river, and above the surrounding city. De Adriaan was officially opened on May 19, 1779.
De Booys was granted permission for the windmill to produce cement, paint, and tanbark. The windmill was built under the supervision of miller Henricus Ruijsch from Waddinxveen. De Booy earned the concession to be the sole producer of cement in the city for 25 years. The monopoly on cement had not been as lucrative as De Booys had hope for, and a competitor broke the law by importing cement from Dordrecht.
Eventually, De Booys sold the windmill to Cornelis Kraan for 1650 guilders in 1802. Kraan converted the mill into a tobacco mill, to produce tobacco snuff. Kraan already owned a tobacco shop, at the Grote Houtstraat (number 12).
The recorded history of the windmill goes quiet, but we do know that in 1865 a steam engine was placed in the windmill by the then owner, J. van Berloo, but this was not a commercial success. In 1925 the windmill was failing and was bought for 12,100 guilders by the Dutch windmill society Vereniging De Hollandsche Molen to prevent demolition. Unfortunately, the windmill was severely damaged by a storm in 1930.
To keep up with the bad luck, the mill was ablaze. On the evening of April 23, 1932, the windmill burnt down. The fire brigade could not prevent the complete burning down of the mill. The cause of the fire has never been established.
Immediately after the fire, citizens of Haarlem collected money to pay for the rebuilding of the mill. Vereniging De Hollande Molen started a collection and the result was 3,000 guilders. The insurance money, 12.165 guilders, had to be used to pay off the mortgage on the mill.
The municipality of Haarlem made 10,000 guilders, a large amount of money, available in 1938 for the renovation of the mill, but this was overruled by the provincial council because of the bad economic situation. In 1963 the Haarlem municipality became the owner of the mill and tried to restore it. That failed, however, due to a lack of funds.
In September 1985 a plan was presented by the architects Braaksma and Roos for the renovation of the area, Scheepsmakersdijk; and their plan included a renovated windmill. In 1995 detailed plans were made by the Haarlem municipality and on April 21, 1999, the first pole was put in the ground.
De Adriaan was rebuilt on the original foundations of the old windmill. Windmill De Adriaan was reopened on April 23, 2002, 70 years after the fire. The current owner is Stichting Molen De Adriaan.
Now the windmill is fully functional, and is capable of grinding grain. Inside the windmill is a small museum and the interior can be seen.