On Saturday, July 27 from 8:30 to 10:00 a.m. (rain date is now Saturday, August 3 at the same time), join Windsor Historical Society’s Executive Director Christine Ermenc for a walk through the historic section of Windsor’s small but fascinating Riverside Cemetery. The cemetery, established in 1894 in response to overcrowding in Palisado Cemetery, includes markers commemorating Windsor residents who served in Connecticut’s 29th and 31st Colored Regiments during the Civil War, four soldiers who perished in the infamous Andersonville prison, veterans of World Wars I and II, and other Windsorites. By the late 19th century, Windsor was much more diverse in population than it had been during the seventeenth, eighteenth, and early nineteenth centuries. While Palisado Cemetery markers commemorate names of old Windsor families of English extraction, such as Wolcott, Phelps, Loomis, and Newberry, grave markers in Riverside Cemetery commemorate Windsor residents with Irish, German, Swedish, Hispanic, and Asian roots as well as those of English descent. Ermenc will discuss the lives and war experiences of selected veterans and focus on a few of the Windsor families buried there.
Although the cemetery itself is relatively new, much is known about the area’s long history thanks to historian Beverly Garvan’s research. East Street was once known as Silver Street. The story goes that the street was regularly littered with shad scales that glinted in the sun like silver. The town poor farm once occupied adjoining lands, and people whose memories extend back to the 1930’s remember motorcycle meets held by the Hartford Motorcycle Club which took place on the banks going down behind Veteran’s and Riverside Cemeteries to the Farmington River. Discover more area history on the tour.
Meet at the entrance to Riverview Cemetery on East Street between Pleasant Street and Clubhouse Road in Windsor. You may park on the grass near the roadway through the cemetery. Cost for the tour is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and students, and $4 for WHS members. Make your reservation for this tour by calling 860-688-3813 by Friday, July 26th. Participants are encouraged to bring water and mosquito repellant.