Town Historian: Rita Saunders
The Town of Windsor lies in the southeastern part of Broome County and is bounded on the north by the Town of Colesville, on the east by the Town of Sanford, on the south by the Pennsylvania State Line and on the west by the Town of Kirkwood. The town was formed on March 27, 1807, from the Town of Chenango. The incorporated Village of Windsor is located in this town. The other large unincorporated villages are Damascus, East Windsor, and West Windsor.
Area of Town: 54,866 acres Population: 6,440 1990 Census 6,421 2000 Census 6,274 2010 Census 5,804 2020 Census 2006 Assessed Valuation: 2006 Tax: Real Property: $198,249,380 Equalization Rate: 93.00 Public Service: $4,836,900 County Tax Rate (1000): 8.095425 Special Franchise: $4,417,996 Town General: 1.890947 State Owned Land: $682,500 Highway 1,3,4 (Out): 1.582363 Total: $208,186,776 Highway 2 (In and Out): 0.086646 Wholly Exempt: $40,287,448 Total Miles of Highway: 167.32 State: 20.76 County: 28.85 Town: 117.71 Railroads: D&H, Pennsylvania Lines
Information and much more regarding Windsor’s rich history is available in the book “Historical Essays of Windsor” written in 1976, and the vintage postcard book, “Windsor on the Susquehanna”. These books are $19.44 each and are available for sale in the Town Clerk’s Office.
The Town Clerk also has available for sale “Town of Colesville” A Picture Postcard Place for $25.00
The Town of Windsor is one of the oldest towns in Broome County, having been created in 1807, only one year after the birth of Broome County itself. Two hundred years ago, what is now Windsor was still Indian Territory.
In 1791, the first boundary lines affecting Windsor were established by New York State, and this area was named Tioga County, the bounds of present Broome County being designated within it at that same time by two townships: Union and Chenango. (Below: A map of Windsor in 1887)
Present-day Windsor, in it’s beginning stages, was first part of the Town of Chenango in the County of Tioga. In 1807, the Town of Windsor was created from the larger town of Chenango, and included the Towns of Colesville and Sanford. This large town remained for fifteen years, when in 1822, the two latter towns were separated from it.
Below: Main Street, Windsor in 1911…
A large number of Windsor’s earliest settlers were veterans of the Revolutionary War who had served with the New England troops. From available records, it appears that fifty veterans of the American Revolution chose to settle here in Windsor. Ten veterans of the War of 1812, and possibly more, also chose to make Windsor their home.
Most of these graves can be found in one of five Windsor cemeteries that were used by these early settlers: Old Village Cemetery, Old South Windsor (Wake) Cemetery, Old Blatchley Cemetery, located on Dunbar Road (Also known as The Riley Farm Cemetery), Stow / Lyons Farm Cemetery, which is located about a mile north of the Village on Route 79, and Lester / Mountain View Cemetery on Trim Street (Pictured below).
Windsor’s first official settler was John Doolittle, a soldier in the Revolution. He settled here and built a log cabin on Sage Creek in 1786 with his wife, Hannah, and their three children. Records show that on December 28, 1786, their fourth child, David Doolittle (Pictured below), became the first white child born here in Broome County….
Sage Creek was named for Reverend Seth Sage. He had been a chaplain in the American Revolution as well as a missionary. He had a large family and purchased property in the area before the Town of Windsor was created. He had a mill and was one of the first preachers in the area. Pictured below: A NYS Historical Marker for Sage Creek found along Route 79 heading north towards Harpursville.
Capt. James Knox, a member of Washington’s Guard in the late Revolutionary war, brought his wife and year-old son to their homestead across the river from present-day Ouaquaga. Records show that their daughter, Patty, was the first white girl born in Windsor, in 1788. Their homestead was in the Knox family until the second decade of this century, over 125 years. His grave can be found in Knox Cemetery in Ouaquaga. (Pictured below)
In the late 1890’s, Windsor became the buggy whip manufacturing capital of New York State with three factories…
One of these factories has recently been restored and is now an art gallery near the flashing light in the center of the Village Square. Pictured below: The Windsor Hotel in it’s heyday. This building still sits on Main Street, directly across from Town Hall
There are many historic homes in our area. If you drive through Windsor, you will see them clearly marked with signs. Some go back a VERY long time!
This information and much more regarding Windsor’s rich history is available in the book “Historical Essays of Windsor” written in 1976. Also available is the vintage postcard book, “Windsor on the Susquehanna”. Both books are $19.44 each and are available for sale in the Town Clerk’s Office.
See interior of one-room schoolhouse in Occanum circa 1930s…
WINDSOR HISTORICAL PANELS
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FOR MORE INFORMATION…
Contact our Town Historian WindHist@gmail.com