A Brief History of Windsor
Located along the majestic Front Range, Windsor, Colorado is a community with a rich history that encompasses a prehistoric past, early farming settlement, and industry that built the town we see today.
Native peoples hunted and gathered as they traveled through this area seasonally for hundreds of years. Evidence of their presence is preserved at the Kaplan-Hoover Bison Kill Site, an archaeological site dating to 2,784 years ago. Native peoples used the natural contours of the landscape to herd over 200 bison to their deaths off a high bluff.
Edward Hollister was one of the first homesteaders in what would later become Windsor. As a member of the Greeley Union Colony, Hollister arrived in 1870, and was soon followed by other settlers. Hollister named the budding town Windsor, after Windsor, New York in which he once lived.
It was not until 1882, that Windsor became established as a town. In that year the Greeley, Salt Lake and Pacific railway arrived, a train depot was constructed, the town was platted, and Windsor’s first business was constructed.
The railroad brought investors and farmers to Windsor. The area’s rich alluvial soil supported extensive wheat crops which led to the establishment of one of the town’s first commercial enterprises, a flour mill. Windsor’s fate as an agricultural community was solidified when a sugar beet factory was constructed in 1903. Sugar beet farming became the driving force that spurred the growth of Windsor, tripling the population between 1900 and 1910.
The Great Western Sugar Company attracted a large number of immigrant families to cultivate the sugar beets. Most notably were the Germans-from-Russia who worked as laborers on the farms, but with a generation owned their own farms.
The sugar beet industry in Windsor slowed after World War II, and Windsor’s Sugar Factory closed in 1966. The arrival of subsequent industries including a Kodak processing plant, continued to employ generations of Windsor residents.
Today, Windsor is the hub of Northern Colorado; a safe, unique and special town that offers diverse cultural and recreation opportunities. Windsor is recognized as a regional leader that demonstrates fiscal responsibility, environmental stewardship and strategic excellence. A town that thinks big and embraces its hometown pride.