Image courtesy of Windsor Historical Society
Marguerite Mills (1903-1985) was a descendant of some of the oldest Windsor, Connecticut families. Windsor holds the distinction of being "Connecticut's oldest English town." At a young age, Mills developed a deep respect and love for the town's history. She lived in the same home throughout her life. The house, located on Deerfield Road, was filled with beautiful antiques.
In September of 1921, Mills joined Windsor Historical Society of Connecticut at the age of 17. She was not only one of the 100 charter members of the society, but Mills injected a vital energy. The Windsor Historical Society was formed with the objective of creating awareness among the public about various places, events, and people that share a significant part of the evolving history of Windsor. The Windsor Historical Society conducts various exhibitions, sessions, research activities, programs and interaction with those interested in preserving and interpreting Windsor’s historical records.
In 1925, the Lt. Walter Fyler House, thought to be one of the oldest wood-framed houses in the state, was to be demolished to make way for a gasoline station. Mills and other members made every effort to preserve the historic site which now houses the Windsor Historical Society.1 Every year Mills analyzed reports prepared by the President of the Windsor Historical Society. The data resulted in a collection of funds raised for the construction of a fireproof building so the increasing number of collections and antiques could be safely preserved.
Clearly, Mills was not adverse to progress as evidenced by one letter in which she states, "Have spent a lot of time working with some people from Boston who are interested in building a shopping center on land I own here in Windsor. A hearing has to be held before the Town Plan and Zoning Commission and ask for a change of zone, and of course that means some opposition from merchants in Town, but feel if new business come in it will help to make the present of business section spruce up a little and they need competition so we shall see." [transcribed verbatim] Mills made other contributions during her life as she owned a private nursery school, was a member of the Garden Club, and Women's Club of the First Church. Mills never married or had children. After her death, she bequeathed a substantial sum and her historical artifacts to the historical society. Marguerite Mills' passion for history, especially as it related to Windsor, Connecticut resulted in a legacy. 2
The above letter is the only complete letter from Mills in this group--the rest are fragments. The picture she mentions was missing.
1 Windsor Historical Society "About Us"
Windsor Historical Society - The museum, library, and historic houses explore 370 years of history in Connecticut's oldest English town
2 These photos and letters, many only fragments or partial letters, were found at bottom of a box of what I expected to be undistinguishable scraps of paper. As luck would have it, some were identified as she signed her full name (she had signed others only "Marguerite"). Mills' handwriting proved to be recognizable, but other papers were tucked in among these. They are not shown here.
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