Windsor Locks, CT is a town of just under 9 and ½ miles on the Connecticut River, located halfway between Hartford, CT and Springfield, MA. According to the Unites States Census, in 2010 there were 12,498 residents.
Pine Meadow, later to be named Windsor Locks, was a part of the original Ancient Windsor settlement. In 1663 Henry Denslow became the first English settler of Pine Meadow. The early English settlers were later joined by Irish immigrants, followed by the French in the 1880’s, the Italians in 1896 and by Polish immigrants at the end of the 19th century. Each group became an integral part of the formation of Windsor Locks.
The first industries of the town included saw and grist mills, followed by wool carding and later paper production. The Dexter Corporation was founded in 1767. It remained the oldest corporation on the New York Stock Exchange until it sold in 2000. In 1857, the town’s paper manufacturer, Persse and Brooks, was rumored to be largest paper mill in the world.
In May 1827 the construction of the locks began. It was a difficult and strenuous project made possible by 400 Irish workers. On November 11, 1829 the locks were finished. In 1833 Pine Meadow changed its name to Windsor Locks, after the newly constructed locks. Windsor Locks was incorporated as a town in 1854.
In the 19th century, Windsor Locks survived massive flooding in the Flood of 1936 and the Hurricane of 1938. The dawn of World War 2 led to the construction of a military airfield which became Bradley International Airport in 1957. Other notable events include the World Championship of Windsor Lock’s 1965 Little League team and the inauguration in the same year of Windsor Locks’ daughter, Ella Grasso. Ella Grasso holds the distinction of being the first female governor in the United States.
Windsor Locks remains a town that is justifiably proud of its rich history. We welcome you to explore this history throughout this site.
Information was obtained from Town of Windsor Locks. The Story of Windsor Locks: 1663-1976. Windsor Locks, CT: Town of Windsor Locks, 1976.