It took nearly thirty years from the 1960s to the 1990s for the state of Connecticut to complete an expansion of I-91 through Windsor. In the interim a heated debate raged between Windsor citizens and the state over highway construction and expansion within the town.
The Death Trap was a narrow stretch of the lower part of Palisado Avenue that runs underneath the railroad overpass. Today this is a straight road, but in the treacherous travel era of the early 20th century, it was a 90-degree hairpin turn at the bottom of a hill.
In the decades following the Connecticut River's discovery by Europeans, the numerous shallows and oxbow bends of the river limited the river’s potential as a trading hub. However, throughout the 17th, 18th, and early 19th centuries, maritime trade along the Connecticut River slowly and steadily grew.
The Hartford Courant's Fresh-Air Excursions were one of the many programs, clubs, and organizations that made Rainbow Park an annual destination during the late 1890s. Rainbow businessmen Henry Snow and Samuel Vernon opened the park in 1895, the year the Hartford Street Railway Company completed the trolley line to Rainbow.
They are the red sandstone markers set on the sides of the roads with the letters H or H.C. chiseled into them. The letters indicate the number of miles to the Hartford Court House, today known as the Old State House. In 1787 the Connecticut legislature ordered that “towns shall set up milestones on mail routes, marking distances from the county towns."
Canal transportation was no match for the speed and efficiency of the emerging railroads in the mid-19th century. But while the arrival of the railroad signaled the eventual demise of the Windsor Locks Canal, the decline in shipping on the canal was far more gradual than historians have previously supposed. One product in particular, gunpowder, was shipped through the canal for several decades after the railroad appeared.
The Farmington River winds its way through the entire width and much of the length of Windsor. It crosses major roads in two locations: Palisado Ave. and Poquonock Ave. Over the centuries, numerous bridges have spanned the Farmington in both locations, several of which are featured here.
The Eddy Electric Mfg. Co. occupied the three-story brick building to the east of the railroad depot in Windsor center. Here they built electric motors and generators from 1885 through 1902. One particular type of product that the company made formed the backbone of some of the world's earliest electric cars.
Most people know that there were once two ferries in Windsor: the Rivulet Ferry on the Farmington River and the Bissell Ferry across the Connecticut River. However, there was also another, almost unknown, ferry operating here in the 18th century. It was called the Wolcott Ferry.
The first public thoroughfare used by the settlers of Windsor in 1633 was an Indian trail between Plymouth Meadow (behind today’s Loomis Chaffee School) and the head of Hartford Meadow near the present village of Wilson. At first it was a simple footpath and was later widened for use by cart and horse.