2008 House Tour
Four Centuries of Building Preservation
On Saturday, April 26th, 2008 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Windsor Historical Society welcomed the public to its fourth house tour Four Centuries of Building Preservation. Eight beautiful and historic Windsor homes representing the 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries were open for public viewing. Architectural preservation is a longstanding tradition in Windsor. Trained guides pointed out architectural details and points of interest within each home, and members of the Windsor Jesters theatrical group portrayed early homeowners, greeting visitors in historic costume and sharing details of their lives, making this a truly special community event.
Proceeds from the tour support Windsor Historical Society’s public programs for schoolchildren and adults, and the operation of the Society’s historic houses, research library, exhibition galleries, and family learning center. Ticket holders may visit the homes in any order. Here is a sneak preview of what you’ll be seeing.
The Loomis Homestead, Batchelder Road
The homestead, occupied by eight generations of the Loomis family for 300 years, has been extensively expanded and modified. Wide pine floorboards and wall paneling have been carefully preserved as have Loomis family artifacts including a 16th century iron fire-back brought over from England, family furnishings, documents and art work.
37 Elm Street
This building, originally constructed in 1664 by Deacon John Moore, has been moved three times. It retains its 17th century exterior overhangs and several of its original pendants plus small windows that held in the heat. The original wide pine floorboards can still be seen upstairs, and the posts and beams used to frame the original house are visible throughout this home.
The Oliver Ellsworth Homestead, 778 Palisado Avenue
Oliver Ellsworth, member of the Continental Congress and later Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court was Windsor’s most famous 18th century citizen. His home, maintained as a museum by the Connecticut Daughters of the American Revolution, was extensively restored in 1989. Elegant wallpaper, paneling, and closets and high ceilings in the 1790’s wing testify to the status of its famous owner.
336 Palisado Avenue
This double-hipped roof Georgian mansion house with white corner quoins remained in the Ellsworth family for generations before its restoration in the 1960’s by Albro Case. Interior architectural features include an elaborate newel post at the base of a grand staircase, ten working fireplaces, and decorative wall paneling. The home recalls the prosperity of 18th century Windsor when shipping was king.
33 Mechanic Street #108
In the spring of 2007, 50 residential condominium units opened in the old factory complex which once housed Spencer Arms Company, Eddy Electric Company and General Electric. This airy unit features the high ceilings, large windows, exposed brick work, massive load-bearing ash beams stabilized with iron collars, and exposed fireboxes typical of late 19th century factories.
302 Rainbow Road
This 1898 Victorian home was built for teamster Fredus Case and his family. Architectural features of the home include wrap-around porches, a stunning display of Victorian fretwork at the entrance to the front parlor, original Victorian door knobs, hardware and stained glass, canvas ceilings, and the original mudroom where oilmen stripped off their boots and outer garments before heading upstairs to the kitchen to wash.
1244 Windsor Avenue
This 1921 Colonial Revival home was built for Hartford furrier Henry Burdett Williams. Bradley and Hubbard light fixtures, built-in corner cupboards and bookshelves, a working dumb-waiter, a laundry chute extending from the attic staircase to the basement, and a fabric-lined walk-in closet with birds-eye maple cupboard doors are just a few of the original architectural features remaining in this home.
5 Settlement Hill
This home, built in 1989 as an enhanced reproduction of the David Camp House in Newington, cloaks modern conveniences in an 18th century setting. The owners cook at their open hearth almost every weekend and enjoy their four working fireplaces. Their collection of cooking implements includes a tin rotisserie oven, iron kettles, griddle and toaster.
Many generous sponsors and supporters have helped to make Windsor Historical Society’s events possible including:
Presenting Sponsors: Anonymous Donor; Connecticut Humanities Council; Hartford Foundation for Public Giving;
Adventurer Sponsors: Dan J. and Alice Ford Ferraina; Travelers Connecticut Foundation; Windsor Federal Savings;
Discoverer Sponsors: MiddleOak Specialty®; Alstom Power
Founder Sponsors: Anonymous Donor; Dill, Joyce & Thresher Insurance; ING; Jim and Kathi Martin; Rabbett Insurance Agency, Savings Bank Life Insurance;
Settler Sponsors: Alford Associates, Inc.; Bill Selig Family Foundation; Carmon Funeral Homes; Elizabeth Feser; Griffin Land and Nurseries, Inc.; HD2 Development; Pelton Excavation Company; Price Chopper; Rotary Club of Windsor; Stop and Shop Supermarkets; Webster Bank.
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