Historical Markers: Doorways to Windsor’s Past

2019-07-29T15:48:19-04:00June 19th, 2019|Tags: , , , , |

Near the northern edge of the Windsor Historic District, on the east side of Palisado Avenue, stands a marker proudly proclaiming the entrance to Bissell Ferry Road. Tucked in between two nearby homes, the unpaved road would be easily overlooked if not for this sign. This modest reminder is all that is left to commemorate a vital spot in Windsor’s long history.

Remembering Rainbow Park

2019-02-13T11:17:58-05:00January 23rd, 2019|Tags: , |

The Hartford Courant's Fresh-Air Excursions were one of the many programs, clubs, and organizations that made Rainbow Park an annual destination during the late 1890s. Rainbow businessmen Henry Snow and Samuel Vernon opened the park in 1895, the year the Hartford Street Railway Company completed the trolley line to Rainbow.

Milestones

2019-02-13T11:17:59-05:00January 9th, 2019|Tags: |

They are the red sandstone markers set on the sides of the roads with the letters H or H.C. chiseled into them. The letters indicate the number of miles to the Hartford Court House, today known as the Old State House. In 1787 the Connecticut legislature ordered that “towns shall set up milestones on mail routes, marking distances from the county towns."

Christopher Miner Spencer

2019-02-13T12:03:24-05:00December 24th, 2018|Tags: , , , |

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.

A Booming Business: Transportation of Gunpowder on the Windsor Locks Canal

2019-02-13T11:41:05-05:00December 11th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Canal transportation was no match for the speed and efficiency of the emerging railroads in the mid-19th century. But while the arrival of the railroad signaled the eventual demise of the Windsor Locks Canal, the decline in shipping on the canal was far more gradual than historians have previously supposed. One product in particular, gunpowder, was shipped through the canal for several decades after the railroad appeared.