Windsor Eye View of Autumn 2016 – Connecticut’s Oldest Town
Posted on October 27, 2016
Write-Up & Photos by Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb.com
Windsor, Connecticut is the state’s first English settlement, a fact the town proudly notes with the motto “First in Connecticut- First for our Citizens”. Settled in 1633, Windsor is home to the nation’s oldest Congregational Church. Oliver Ellsworth of Windsor, was a Founding Father who helped craft the Constitution and served as the third Chief Justice of the United States – his Windsor homestead is a National Historic Landmark.
Among the towns of the Connecticut valley where fertile fields with rich soil have produced cigar tobacco for years, Windsor is situated at the confluence of the Connecticut and Farmington Rivers. Its largest park is Northwest Park where a tobacco museum is located. Not far from the park is the site where the 1961 movie, Parrish, was filmed on a tobacco farm. (The stage play “Arsenic & Old Lace” was also based upon events that took place in Windsor.)
Brown’s Harvest, in the Poquonock section of Windsor, has been family owned and operated for some five generations. A popular corn maze draws visitors this time of year – http://www.brownsharvest.com/ .
From the Windsor Town Hall step onto a lengthy Town Green which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Town greens are a New England tradition and typically a focal point for gathering and activity. Windsor’s signature event, the Shad Derby Day Parade makes it way past the green annually where a concurrent Shad Derby Day Festival is held. As well each October the creative Chili Challenge is held on the green. Stop by Windsor Town Hall for free marriage licenses on Valentine’s Day. Four anniversaries of the 9/11 attacks on America have been marked on the Windsor Town Green by the “Windsor Walk of Light”. The green will next be the scene of “Nightmare on Broad Street”, a Halloween celebration.
Rail transportation continues in Windsor on the Hartford/New Haven Amtrak line. Originally constructed circa 1870, the Windsor train station was later rebuild in keeping with Victorian architectural style. Immediately across the tracks, the old Freight Depot has been converted into the Windsor Art Center – http://www.windsorartcenter.org/ . As for air travel, Bradley International Airport is in nearby Windsor Locks, not far from Windsor’s primary corporate center on Day Hill Road.
A well-know private college preparatory school, Loomis Chaffee School, can be reached across a long causeway from Windsor Center. Designer Jason Wu who designed First Lady Michelle Obama’s inauguration gowns attended Loomis Chaffee. Just up the road is Windsor High School, where the WHS Football Team has produced NFL notables such as Chris Baker who currently plays for the Washington Redskins.
This completes an autumn tour of Connecticut’s oldest town!