According to legend, on October 4, 1675, Toto "the Windsor Indian" learned of a surprise attack on the city of Springfield being planned by King Philip’s soldiers. In response to this news, Toto ran 20 miles to sound the alarm, thereby saving the people of Springfield from a massacre. But the legend conjures up several questions for the historical record.
Hannah Hayden and her family moved from Windsor to Hartwick, New York in 1806. Her letters back home reveal a willful woman grappling with her new identity in the frontier. Her textile work and the burdens of caring for her brood of children and employees usually took center stage in her letters, while her focus on and longing for material goods and economic success remained subtle yet sharply detailed motifs.
Do you ever wonder how objects end up in museum exhibitions? The cloak on view in our museum gallery arrived at the Society in a box. It had ripped seams, frayed trim, insect damage, and layers of dirt. But in its prime in the early 1800s, the bright red color was a fashion statement and a sign of the owner’s wealth.
Last week, we lost one of our amazing volunteers, Libby Parker, who anchored our reception desk each Wednesday afternoon well into her nineties. She loved the Town of Windsor and its history with a passion and was truly an involved citizen. To honor her memory, we’re posting a volunteer profile originally published in our newsletter in 2012.
Frances (unknown) (Clark) (Dewey) Phelps is one of the few women included on the Descendants of the Founders of Ancient Windsor’s founders list, which only includes heads of household. Women in Frances’s era rarely show up in official records, but their circumstances can be partially deduced from their husband’s and other contemporaneous records.