Tornado of 1979 Collection


Windsor Historical Society

96 Palisado Avenue, Windsor, CT 06095

© 2015 Windsor Historical Society of Windsor, CT, Inc.




Creator:  Jon W. Day, 1936-2013

Dates:  1979-1983

Extent: 2 linear feet


Accession #: 2013.64

Location: Scrapbook Collection, New Archives Room



Biographical Note

            Rev. Jon W. Day, 1936-2013, served as pastor at several churches in Connecticut including at the First Church in Windsor, CT during the 1970s. He was a member of the Windsor Clergy Association and left First Church to establish his own pastoral counseling practice in Windsor. Day was an active member of the emergency response team that responded to community needs after a tornado hit Windsor in 1979.


Scope and Contents

            Although tornados are not common in Connecticut, they do occasionally erupt and cause severe damage and disruption to a localized area. The tornado of October 3, 1979 formed near the Farmington River and traveled north along CT Route 75 in Windsor and Windsor Locks, CT. The twister killed three people, completely destroyed 64 houses and structures, and caused over 400 million dollars in damage. The Tornado October 3, 1979 Scrapbook compiled by Windsor resident Rev. Jon W. Day includes hundreds of clippings from area newspapers and documents the tornado from the that day’s non-threatening rainy weather forecast to the tapering off of reconstruction activities in 1983. Related materials that accompany the scrapbook include the October 1980 issue of Yankee magazine with an illustrated article about the tornado, the 1979 issue of the Town of Windsor (CT) Annual Report, and a complete run of the Windsor Phoenix. This mimeographed community bulletin was published for one year and delivered door-to-door. It informed the affected citizens about the disaster relief services available from the town, state, and federal government. Both the scrapbook and the Windsor Phoenix bulletins have been digitized.


Arrangement of the Collection

Series I.  Tornado October 3, 1979 scrapbook

Subseries A.  Scrapbook pages, 1979-1980

Subseries B.  Loose clippings for scrapbook, 1980-1983


Series II.  Windsor Phoenix bulletins, 1979-1980

Series III. Yankee magazine, October 1980 issue


Related Materials

Subject files:

Businesses – Airfields – Bradley Field

Churches – Poquonock Community Church

Weather – Tornados


Photo files:

Weather -- Tornados                      


Subject Terms

Tornadoes – Connecticut – 1979

Tornado damage – Connecticut – 1979

Natural disasters -- Connecticut


Custodial history

The scrapbook and the Windsor Phoenix bulletins were digitized by the Bridgeport National Bindery in Agawam, MA in May 2014. Both pdf and tif files were created and downloaded to the Society’s restricted M drive. The finding aid was prepared by Barbara Goodwin in June 2015.




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Copyright © 2010 by Windsor Historical Society of Windsor, Connecticut, Inc.