Windsor’s population had grown rapidly in the years just prior to 1921, driven by immigrants who came to work in the region’s farms and factories. A larger population meant progress: more tax revenue and increased manufacturing. But it also created stress among residents who were wary of “foreign” ideas and changes to their habitual way of life.
The area in Poquonock just north of the bridge over the Farmington River was for decades a commercial center of the neighborhood. Starting in the mid-19th century, the businesses here served the growing immigrant populations [...]
What would it be like to come to this town after a harrowing ocean voyage and adjust to a new climate, new foods, new working conditions, and racial prejudice, as well? Fay Clarke Johnson tells the story of Jamaicans who left their lovely, temperate island to find work in the Connecticut River Valley during WWII in her 1995 book Soldiers of the Soil.
Everyone pretends to be a wee bit Irish on March 17, but Windsor has a stronger connection to the Emerald Isle than one day of shamrocks and green attire. In fact, Irish immigrants flocked to Windsor during the 19th century looking for work and a safe place to raise their families. Twenty percent of Windsor’s population was first or second-generation Irish by 1860.
Social historians make note of the formation of fraternal benefit groups such as Windsor’s Saint Casimir’s Lithuanian Society as one step in the characteristic path an immigrant cultural group takes as it progresses from isolated ethnic community to assimilated citizens.