This is the oldest existing smock mill with gallery in the Netherlands. For centuries, this mill used to grind flour for local bakers. Until around the middle of the 19th century the "De Bleeke Dood" (The Pale Death) was the village windmill in Zaandijk. Local bakers were obliged by law to have their wheat ground into flour here. When the law lapsed, the mill fell into disrepair. It was saved from destruction by a thorough restoration in 1955.