• Five modes of transportation converge at the Death Trap
    Five modes of transportation (if you include the railroad above) converge on the Death Trap, c1910s

Windsor Historical Society was founded in September of 1921 as a membership organization of 17 people. 2021 marked the Society’s 100th anniversary. As a prequel to that event, this exhibit, Windsor in 1921: A Paradox of Progress, examined how the conditions of life in Windsor in 1921 influenced the ideals under which the Windsor Historical Society was founded.

Windsor Faces the Future While Looking Toward the Past

When Windsor Historical Society was founded on the evening of September 1, 1921, it was a reflection of the paradox of progress which characterized life in town at the time. The Society’s founders were rightfully proud of the town and all of the advancements in technology and social life it had seen since its founding in 1633, but they also sought to preserve an idealized vision of the town’s past they worried might soon be lost to new modes of living and new ideals brought by foreign newcomers.

At its founding, the Historical Society was a membership organization formed of a group invited by George E. Crosby, Jr., who was named President. Focused on celebrating the town’s 300th Anniversary in 1933, the new group’s stated mission was “for collecting manuscripts, documents, and relics connected with the early history of Windsor, and marking historical spots and locations.”

Our Historical Society, like other history organizations of its day, was influenced by the traditional ideals of the Colonial Revival and other social dynamics of the day. Our founders desired to preserve the “good old days” of Windsor’s pre-industrial past. They also desired to preserve the status of an elite group of Windsor founders and their descendants. It was a strong foundation.

Windsor Historical Society celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2021. As we celebrate the many successes of the past century, it is important that we ask ourselves how the Society can move beyond the limiting ideals of 1921, and embrace a more inclusive future. How must the Society evolve to meet the challenges and reflect the history of Windsor and its people in 2021 and beyond?

In the video above, join Society Curator Kristen Wands for a virtual exploration of our newest exhibit highlighting life in Windsor the year 1921, when Windsor Historical Society was founded. Learn about the town, its people, businesses, organizations and more – the factors that led to the formation of WHS in 1921.

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