When we receive donations for our museum and archives collections, one of the first tasks we undertake is to determine the importance of the objects and figure out if and how they fit into the history of our town. While that is simple enough to say, the process can be painstaking, alternating between fulfilling and frustrating, but always fascinating.
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.
Mill Brook today flows gently and quietly through Windsor, but it was once the busiest industrial area of town. In the early days, before the larger mills came to the Farmington and Connecticut Rivers, the small mills along the local streams were an important part of the town’s local economy.
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.
Corn. Wheat. Rye. Timber. At the corner of Poquonock Avenue and East Street, this is where residents of Windsor and the surrounding area brought their grain, logs, and tools for grinding, sawing, and sharpening for [...]