As a researcher, women are frustrating to follow over time. Often their names change, they do not regularly appear in land records or tax rolls, many do not leave behind wills. Being a daughter, wife, and mother were primary roles for early American women. Running a household was a full time job. The account books of the Barber family help us shed light on the productive activities of those women.
In 1883, William F. Garvin left his home and family in Windsor and headed to Cheyenne, Wyoming, a young and rapidly growing frontier town. He faithfully wrote each week to his younger brother John. 130 years later, William’s grandniece Bev Garvan donated this collection of 300 letters to the Society. She has transcribed dozens of excerpts to illustrate some of the differences between life in Windsor and in the West.
Christopher Miner Spencer was an almost compulsive inventor and tinkerer from his childhood into his old age. The people who knew him best describe long hours of puzzling over problems he hoped to solve and designs he hoped to improve on inventions like his rifles, automatic screw machine, steam-powered boat, and automobiles. They also describe a man who was kind, generous, and friendly.
In 1972 the Society received a donation of a day book from a Mrs. Arthur Golding. There was no indication inside the book as to owner of the business or its location, so for cataloging purposes, staff at the time had titled it "1826-1830 Account Book for General Store in Poquonock." Such a vague yet intriguing title has led more recent staff to wonder about its origins.
Volunteer Sandy McGraw helping organize our Tunxis yearbook collection. Photo by Christina Vida. This profile is also a fond farewell as Sandy has recently retired from her volunteering duties here at the Society. [...]
Adelbert "Del" Coe (1913-1992) lived on Hayden Avenue in the center of Windsor. He took an avid interest in the changes taking place in his community and documented many of them with his camera, the images revealing exactly what he witnessed as the decades passed from the 1950s through the 1980s.
Scrapbooks, what to do with them! For a historical society, scrapbooks are a particularly difficult format to preserve. Generally, they are comprised of a mixture of types of cherished mementos, which each have different long-term preservation needs.
When you visit the reinterpreted rooms of the Strong-Howard House, you will feel as if you had stepped into the Howards’ home. Not only will you have the opportunity to touch everything, snooping is encouraged. Want to try out the bed? Feel free. Want to look under the tablecloth? Go right ahead. But you might wonder about an item – why is this here?
"Aha!" moments occur in research when a combination of luck and hard work causes fragments of information to fall into place, answering one or a series of questions. One such moment led to the identification of the photographer of several hundred historic photographs in the Society's collections.
The Windsor High School yearbook has been called Tunxis since its inception in 1914. In the early years, the Tunxis yearbook was published twice yearly with a winter and spring/summer issue. The Society's library contains a nearly complete collection of Windsor High School yearbooks available for all to browse.