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Windsor, Connecticut
Official seal of Windsor, Connecticut
First in Connecticut, First for its Citizens
Location in Hartford County, Connecticut
Location in Hartford County, Connecticut
Coordinates: 41°51′10″N 72°38′35″W / 41.85278°N 72.64306°W / 41.85278; -72.64306Coordinates: 41°51′10″N 72°38′35″W / 41.85278°N 72.64306°W / 41.85278; -72.64306
NECTA Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford
Region Capitol Region
Settled September 26, 1633
Named 1637
 • Type Council-manager
 • Total 31.0 sq mi (80.2 km2)
 • Land 29.5 sq mi (76.4 km2)
 • Water 1.5 sq mi (3.8 km2)
55 ft (17.37 m)
 • Total 29,044
 • Density 938.0/sq mi (362.14/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (Eastern)
ZIP code
Area Code 860
FIPS code 09-87000
GNIS feature ID 0212354
Elevation noted at Town Hall.

Windsor is a town in Hartford County, Connecticut, United States, and was the first English settlement in the state. It lies on the northern border of Connecticut's capital, Hartford. The population of Windsor was 29,044 at the 2010 census.

Poquonock is a northern area of Windsor that has its own zip code (06064) for post-office box purposes. Other unincorporated areas in Windsor include Rainbow and Hayden Station in the north, and Wilson and Deerfield in the south.

The Day Hill Road area is known as Windsor's Corporate Area, although other centers of business include New England Tradeport, Kennedy Industry Park and Kennedy Business Park, all near Bradley International Airport and the Addison Road Industrial Park.


The coastal areas and riverways were traditional areas of settlement by various cultures of indigenous peoples, who had been in the region for thousands of years. They relied on the rivers for fishing, water and transportation. Before European contact, the historic Pequot and Mohegan tribes had been one Algonquian-speaking people. After they separated, they became competitors and traditional enemies in the Connecticut region.

During the first part of the 17th century, the Pequot and Mohegan nations had been at war. The Podunk were forced to pay tribute to the more powerful Pequot, who claimed their land. Eventually, the Podunk invited a small party of settlers from Plymouth, Massachusetts, to settle as a mediating force between the other tribes. In exchange they granted them a plot of land at the confluence of the Farmington River and the west side of the Connecticut River. After Edward Winslow came from Plymouth to inspect the land, William Holmes led a small party, arriving at the site on September 26, 1633, where they founded a trading post.

Native Americans referred to the area as Matianuck. It was about 50 miles (80 km) up river from Long Island Sound, at the end of waters navigable by ship and above the Dutch fort at Hartford, offering an advantageous location for the English to trade with the Indians before they reached the Dutch. (The Sicaog tribe had made a similar offer to mediate to the Dutch in New Amsterdam. New Netherland had far fewer European settlers than New England, and they were not in a position to take up the opportunity.)

In 1634, a party of around 30 people, sponsored by Sir Richard Saltonstall, and led by the Stiles brothers, Francis, John and Henry, settled in the Windsor area. Governor John Winthrop of the Massachusetts Bay Company acknowledged in a letter to Saltonstall that the Stiles party was the second group to settle Connecticut.

In 1635, 60 or more people, led by the Reverends John Maverick and John Warham, arrived, having trekked overland from Dorchester, Massachusetts. They had arrived in the New World five years earlier on the ship Mary and John from Plymouth, England, and settled in Dorchester. Reverend Warham promptly renamed the Connecticut settlement "Dorchester". During the next few years, more settlers arrived from Dorchester, outnumbering and soon displacing the original Plymouth contingent, who mostly returned to Plymouth.

In 1637, the colony's General Court changed the name of the settlement from Dorchester to Windsor, named after the town of Windsor, Berkshire, on the River Thames in England.

Several towns that border Windsor were once entirely or partially part of Windsor, including Windsor Locks, South Windsor, East Windsor, Ellington (which was later part of East Windsor), and Bloomfield (originally called "Wintonbury", a composite of the town names Windsor, Farmington and Simsbury).

The first "highway" in the Connecticut Colony opened in 1638 between Windsor and Hartford. Two years later, the highway was extended north to the colony's 1636 settlement at Springfield, and thus the three settlements that came to dominate the region for much of colonial history were connected.

In 1648, an event took place that would forever change the boundaries of the Connecticut River Valley. During a grain famine, the founder of Springfield, William Pynchon, was given authority by Windsor and Hartford to negotiate a price for grain for the three settlements with the natives. First, the natives refused to sell grain at the usual market price, and then refused to sell it at "a reasonable price". Pynchon refused to buy it, attempting to teach the natives a peaceful lesson about integrity and reliability. Windsor's cattle were starving, however, and the citizens of Hartford were furious. With Windsor's consent, Hartford commissioned the famous Indian fighter John Mason to travel to Springfield with "money in one hand and a sword in the other" to threaten the natives, and thereby force the grain trade. The natives capitulated and ultimately sold their grain. After "negotiating the trade", Mason refused to share the grain with Springfield, and, to add further insult, insisted that Springfield pay a tax when sailing ships passed Windsor. Outraged, Springfield forever sided with the Massachusetts Bay Colony, a faraway theocracy based in Boston, rather than with the Connecticut Colony, which was much closer geographically and far more compatible ideologically. Windsor played a neutral role in the colonial rivalry between Hartford and Springfield; however, Windsor's direct border with both settlements caused many discussions about whether to align with Massachusetts or Connecticut. Ultimately, Windsor sided with Connecticut.

The Hartford & Springfield Street Railway, a trolley, connected with the Connecticut Company in Windsor Center until 1925. Buses replaced trolleys between Rainbow (a northern section of Windsor) and Windsor Center in 1930. Trolley cars continued to run from Windsor to Hartford until 1940.

The original Windsor settlers have many descendants around the country and beyond. Many are members of the Descendants of the Founders of Ancient Windsor (DFAW).

Wolcott House Windsor Connecticut
The Wolcott House, Windsor, early drawing

Historical points of interest

The Joseph Kesselring stage play and Frank Capra movie Arsenic and Old Lace was inspired by actual events that took place in a three-story brick house on Prospect Street, just off the north end of the Windsor green. Sixty men died between 1907 and 1917 while in the care of Amy Archer-Gilligan. Most were proven to be victims of arsenic poisoning.

On historic Palisado Avenue, one can find the First Church in Windsor, Congregational, and adjacent graveyard.

Across the street on the Palisado Green stands a statue of John Mason, a founder of Windsor and a colonial leader in the Pequot War. The historic plaque also honors Robert Seeley, Mason's second-in-command. Nearby stands Windsor's oldest structure, the Capt. John Fyler house, built in 1640.

Further north is the home of Oliver Ellsworth, third Chief Justice of the United States.

The town center is well-planned in comparison to many others in the Greater Hartford area. It has a relative diversity of chains and local shops, as well as a restored Amtrak train station dating to the 1850s. The Vintage Radio and Communications Museum of Connecticut is located in Windsor.

Windsor War Memorial (1928), Windsor, CT - April 2016 (1)
Windsor War Memorial, sculpted by Evelyn Beatrice Longman (1928), Windsor Town Green at Broad Street.

Windsor is home to the following locations on the National Register of Historic Places:

Tobacco farming

Tobacco farming in Connecticut has a long history. When the first settlers came to the valley in the 1630s, tobacco was already being grown by the native population. By 1700 it was being exported via the Connecticut River to European ports. The use of Connecticut tobacco as a cigar wrapper leaf began in the 1820s.

Area farmers grew tobacco for the two outside layers of cigars, the binder and the wrapper. Approximately 34,000 acres (140 km2) of land in Connecticut is covered by Windsor Soil, named after the town.

The movie Parrish, starring Troy Donahue and Karl Malden, was set and filmed in the tobacco farms of Windsor. The film was released in 1961.

The Connecticut Valley Tobacco Museum, containing authentic farming implements and tools, can be found at Northwest Park in Windsor.

Windsor today


The public schools in Windsor are a part of the Windsor Public Schools:

  • One public school for pre-school and kindergarten: Roger Wolcott Early Childhood Center (No longer in operation after school consolidation, children now sent to in district schools, Poquonock or Ellsworth.)
  • Four public elementary schools: Oliver Ellsworth Primary School, Clover Street Intermediate School, John F. Kennedy Intermediate School, and Poquonock Primary School. (Primary Schools: Grades K-2. Intermediate Schools: Grades 3-5)
  • One public middle school (Grades 6–8): Sage Park Middle School
  • One public high school (Grades 9–12): Windsor High School

There are two public libraries: Windsor Public Library and Wilson Public Library.

Loomis Chaffee, the well-known college preparatory school, is located in Windsor, on a 320-acre (130 ha) campus at the confluence of the Connecticut and Farmington rivers. The original Loomis Homestead, built by Joseph Loomis in 1640 and one of the oldest buildings in the United States, stands on the school's campus across the street from the current school head's residence.

Madina Academy, Connecticut's first full-time Islamic School, offers preschool through 12th grade

Saint Gabriel's School is a private school that teaches kindergarten through eighth grade. Trinity Christian School is a private school that teaches kindergarten through seventh grade. Praise, Power, Prayer Christian School is a private school that teaches kindergarten through twelfth grade.

Branford Hall Career Institute and Baran Institute of Technology are located on Day Hill Road.


Windsor Meadows State Park is in the southeast corner of town and runs along the shore of the Connecticut River.

Keney Park, in the south, straddles Windsor and Hartford; it includes cricket fields and a golf course.

Northwest Park, Windsor's largest park, is located in the northwest corner of Windsor. It includes a nature center, trails and an animal barn showcasing a burro, sheep, chickens, goats, rabbits, ducks, and a turkey.

Welch Park is in the neighborhood of Poquonock on the Farmington River and is home to a public pool, numerous baseball diamonds, and a small playground.

Stroh Park is off Route 159 near Wilson Congregational Church towards the south end of town. It is home to a public pool, tennis courts, a playground, and a pond.

Strawberry Hills Park is located on River Street. It is a popular location in the summer months for those interested in canoeing and kayaking the Farmington River.


The Northwest Park Country Fair is held every fall.

The Shad Derby Festival is held every spring in the town center.


  • Keney Park Golf Club
  • The Troy Donahue movie Parrish was filmed on Windsor's tobacco "plantations" in 1961.
  • The movie Academy Boyz was shot at Loomis Chaffee in 1997.
  • A scene in the movie War of the Worlds was shot along the Farmington River.


  • Sanctuary of Faith and Glory Church
  • Hopewell Baptist Church
  • Truth & Freedom Ministry (Home Church)
  • Pilgrim Way Baptist Church
  • Grace Baptist Church
  • Greater St. Paul's Baptist Church of Deliverance
  • Saint Gabriel's Church, Roman Catholic
  • Saint Gertrude's Church, Roman Catholic
  • Saint Joseph's Church, Roman Catholic
  • The First Church in Windsor, United Church of Christ
  • Poquonock Community Church, Congregational
  • Wilson Congregational Church, United Church of Christ
  • Holy Zion Church of the Jubilee
  • Mount Carmel Christian Ministries
  • Faith Community Church
  • Grace Episcopal Church
  • Archer Memorial AME Zion Church
  • Trinity United Methodist Church
  • Christ the King Lutheran Church
  • Congregation Beth Ahm, Jewish
  • Oasis Christian Church of Connecticut
  • Tohrah Judea
  • Connecticut Valley Church of Christ
  • Praise Power & Prayer Christian Temple
  • Islamic Center of Connecticut
  • International Gospel Fellowship


Windsor Amtrak Station, in the former Hartford & New Haven Railroad Depot
  • Windsor, Connecticut Amtrak station
  • Bradley International Airport, which serves Greater Hartford as well as the greater Pioneer Valley, is located in the adjacent town of Windsor Locks to the north.
  • Connecticut Transit: There are eight routes serving Windsor: 15, 30, 32, 34, 36, 40, 54, and 92.
    • The 30-Bradley Flyer route bus runs between Hartford and Bradley International Airport through Windsor.
    • The 32, 34, and 36 routes run between Windsor Center and Downtown Hartford along Windsor and Poquonock Avenues. While the 32 route terminates at the Poquonock Park & Ride Lot, the 34 route continues on to serve the Walgreens Distribution Center in the Rainbow neighborhood, and the 36 route continues on to connect with the 54 route in the Day Hill Road Corporate Area.
    • The 92 route provides crosstown trips through Windsor beginning at Copaco in Bloomfield and ending at the Shoppes at Buckland Hills in Manchester.
    • The 40-North Main Street-Wilson route terminates at the Wilson Park & Ride Lot.
    • Service to the Poquonock Park & Ride Lot is provided by the local 30, 32, 34, 36, and 54 routes as well as the 15-Windsor Express route, which provides express service between Poquonock Avenue and Downtown Hartford via I-91.
Windsor Art Center, in the former Hartford & New Haven Freight Depot
  • Interstate 91 has 7 exits in Windsor, including an High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lane traveling north and south between Hartford and the Bradley Airport Connector (Route 20).
  • Interstate 291 (Connecticut) begins in Windsor with 3 exits; it connects Interstate 91 with Interstate 84.
  • A rail line runs parallel to the Connecticut River through Windsor, with one stop for Amtrak trains in Windsor center. There were also stations at Wilson in the south of town and Hayden in the north, both named for landowners who provided land for the railroad right of way. The line was double tracked until the late 1990s. Sidings at Windsor station allowed cars to be spotted at the freight house and on the Loomis trestle just to the south. The trestle was removed in the late 1980s. An 1856 brownstone arch bridge carries the tracks over Pleasant St and the Farmington River. Incorporating a horizontal curve, its engineering was noteworthy when built. Following a fatal grade crossing accident, a three-track-wide plate girder bridge was installed to carry tracks over Palisado Ave in Windsor center.
  • Senior Transportation services are available to Dial-A-Ride patrons (adults 60 and over and those receiving Social Security Disability benefits) and Windsor's Caring Connection Adult Day Health Center clients. Senior Transportation utilizes specially equipped vans operated by experienced drivers and provides approximately 28,000 trips per year. See reference link for more information. <>

Public safety

  • Windsor Police Department is located at the Windsor Safety Complex, in the middle of town, next to I-91, on Bloomfield Avenue.
  • Windsor Volunteer Fire Department has 5 stations: Windsor Station (at the Windsor Safety Complex), Wilson Station, Poquonock Station, Rainbow Road Station and Hayden Station.
  • Windsor Volunteer Ambulance is also located at the Windsor Safety Complex.


IMG 4337 Captain John Bissell Memorial Bridge
Captain John Bissell Memorial Bridge spanning the Connecticut River between the towns of Windsor and South Windsor

Windsor's highest point is on Day Hill at 230 feet (70 m) above sea level. Windsor's lowest point is on the Connecticut River at 5 feet (1.5 m) above sea level.

The Connecticut River defines Windsor's east border. The city of Hartford, the capital of Connecticut, is adjacent to Windsor to the south. The town of Windsor Locks, home of Bradley International Airport, is adjacent to Windsor to the north. Prior to its incorporation in 1854, it was known as the Pine Meadow section of Windsor. The towns of East Windsor and South Windsor are on the east side of the Connecticut River. The town of Bloomfield is to the west. The town of East Granby is to the northwest.

The Farmington River joins the Connecticut River in Windsor. The Farmington River is dammed in the northwest corner of Windsor to form the 234-acre (0.95 km2) Rainbow Reservoir.

Principal communities

  • Deerfield
  • Hayden Station
  • Poquonock
  • Rainbow
  • Wilson
  • Windsor Center


Historical population
Census Pop.
1820 3,008
1850 3,294
1860 2,278 −30.8%
1870 2,783 22.2%
1880 3,058 9.9%
1890 2,954 −3.4%
1900 3,614 22.3%
1910 4,178 15.6%
1920 5,620 34.5%
1930 8,290 47.5%
1940 10,068 21.4%
1950 11,833 17.5%
1960 19,467 64.5%
1970 22,502 15.6%
1980 25,204 12.0%
1990 27,817 10.4%
2000 28,237 1.5%
2010 29,044 2.9%
2014 (est.) 29,069 0.1%
U.S. Decennial Census


Year Population
1850 3,294
1900 3,614
1950 11,833
2000 28,237
2010 29,044

As of the census of 2010, there were 29,044 people, 11,233 households, and 7,881 families residing in the town. The population density was 984.5 persons per square mile (380.2/km²). There were 11,767 housing units at an average density of 398.9 per square mile (154.0/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 54.7% White, 34.3% African American, 0.2% Native American, 4.5% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 3.1% some other race, and 3.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.4% of the population.

There were 11,233 households, out of which 28.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.9% were headed by married couples living together, 14.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.8% were non-families. 24.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.8% were someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 3.04.

In the town, the population was spread out with 21.5% under the age of 18, 7.4% from 18 to 24, 23.9% from 25 to 44, 31.8% from 45 to 64, and 15.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43.1 years. For every 100 females there were 90.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.8 males.


See also: List of Connecticut locations by per capita income

According to the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey, for the period 2009-2011, median income for a household in the town was $78,211, and median income for a family was $89,726. Male full-time year-round workers had a median income of $58,668 versus $50,529 for females. The per capita income for the town was $34,899. About 3.1% of families and 4.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.0% of those under age 18 and 4.8% of those age 65 or over.

Windsor was one of a handful of towns in the country where, in the 2000 United States Census, median income for black households ($64,159) was larger than white households ($63,624). Asian households had a median income of $75,716. Hispanic or Latino (of any race) households have a median income of $69,808.

High school demographics

Windsor High School has 1,471 students enrolled. Demographics for 2004–2005 were:

  • Black 46.2%
  • White 41.1%
  • Hispanic 8.8%
  • Asian 3.8%
  • Native American 0.1%


Connecticut House of Representatives:

  • David A. Baram (D)
  • Elaine C. O'Brien (D)
  • Peggy Sayers (D)

Connecticut Senate:

  • Eric D. Coleman (D)
  • John Kissel (R)

United States House of Representatives:

  • John B. Larson (D)
Voter registration and party enrolment as of October 26, 2010
Party Active voters Inactive voters Total voters
Democratic 9,431 342 9,773
Republican 2,861 149 3,010
Unaffiliated 7,443 450 7,893
Minor Parties 54 1 55
Total 19,789 942 20,731

Minor party registrations in Windsor include Green, Libertarian, and Working Families.

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