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Windsor Town

Windsor Town Hall is located at 275 Broad Street, Windsor CT 06095; phone: 860-285-1800/

Beginnings [1]

On September 26, 1633, Captain William Holmes and a small band of men from Plymouth Colony, who had brought with them the frame of a house ready to raise, sailed up the river and established a trading post at the mouth of the Tunxis (Farmington) River, on land previously bought from the Indian tribe who had lived there until driven out by the Pequots. Previously, the Dutch, led by Adrien Block, had discovered and claimed this valley of the Long River (Quinatucquet) and, when 'messages of friendly kindness and good neighborhood were passing between New Amsterdam and Plymouth,' commended this region to the English as a 'fine place for both plantation and trade.' In response to an invitation from the local Indian chief, Governor Winslow and a group of men investigated the territory, claiming it in the name of England. When Holmes sailed up the river, he was hailed by the commander of the Dutch fort on the present site of Hartford, who ordered, 'Strike your colors or we will fire.' Holmes replied, 'I have the commission of the governor of Plymouth to go up the river and I shall go.' Later the Dutch sent a force of seventy men from Fort Amsterdam to drive the newcomers away, but found the English post so well fortified that they withdrew. In June and November of 1635, Holmes was joined by English Puritans from John Warham's parish in Dorchester, who were displeased by the political restrictions in Massachusetts. This group settled on the great meadow north of the Farmington River. A second group of colonists, who came from England under the sponsorship of Sir Richard Saltonstall and led by Stiles, settled further upstream. These settlers called the Dorchester group 'pious bandits' because they settled on the best lands. The new settlement, at first called Matianuck, then Dorchester, was named Windsor in 1637 after the Berkshire residence of the English sovereigns.

  1. Workers of the Federal Writers' Project, Works Progress Administration, Connecticut: A Guide to its Roads, Lore and People, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, 1938.
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