Thursday Doors – Denslow House

Denslow House
Side door? Front door? It;s hard to know, but it’s not a welcoming sight at the moment.

How many things can you accomplish with one blog post? At least three. I chose today’s door because it looks good in black and white. This allows me to complete the black and white five-day photo challenge that Cordelia’s Mom (CM) nominated me for a while back. The stuff I’m going to write about this door lets me also complete the Five Photo Five challenge for which I was nominated by Amy. Of course, this being a Thursday, well, doors.

I live in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. Windsor Locks is only 100 years older than me (incorporated in 1854). When this area was originally settled, it was the Pine Meadows district of Windsor, CT. People migrated from Windsor to this area along the CT River and began to stake out farms and build houses. One of the first settlers in Pine Meadow was Henry Denslow, who moved there in 1663.

The second sentence in the previous paragraph is astounding to me. People migrated from Windsor to Windsor Locks. Using a point of reference that more people might understand, that’s like migrating from downtown New York City to Midtown. Which. I’m sure. People. Did.

We consider distances like this (3-5 miles) to be trivial today. I ride my bike in a 10-mile loop that takes me into the north edge of the Windsor Historic District (with homes dating back to the mid-1600s) past the Denslow house and then up into other sections of Windsor and Windsor Locks. On a good day, I can complete that loop in 45 minutes.

Henry Denslow left his family in Windsor and traveled north into the Pine Meadows section. He lived there for thirteen years, when, according to the stone marker at the historic site, he was killed by Indians.

As for the Denslow House, it’s old but not that old. Several sources point to the 375 year-old Fairbanks House in Dedham, MA as being the oldest remaining freestanding structure. The Denslow house shown here is not the original house built by Henry, but it’s well over 250 years old. It’s not in the greatest shape. Like the Lockkeeper’s house I featured last week, it needs a little TLC. Similarly, if it doesn’t get that TLC, it will someday need a restoration effort. Unlike the Lockkeeper’s house, this building is made of wood and if it’s allowed to deteriorate too long, there won’t be a chance for restoration.

This post is part of Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors series. If you want to join the fun, click the link to Norm’s page and follow the easy instructions.

If you are a history buff, you can follow this link to a well-researched and comprehensive history of Windsor Locks. A more personal view of this history was published in 1900 in a series of sketches written and compiled by Jabez-Hasicell Hayden can be viewed here.

47 thoughts on “Thursday Doors – Denslow House

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  1. I really loved the pictures you’ve uploaded. When you mentioned about how people migrated from Windsor to Windsor Locks, I thought of how people are now moving away from Mumbai. Although, the city is eternally crowded with immigrants, but many of the early settlers have moved away. The thing is that many like me (both my grandparents were from Bombay, now Mumbai), so I love the city as my own and not look at it as a place of livelihood, while immigrants flock in, they earn and go back to their own villages. Many Bombay-dwellers feel the same as I do that too much of commercialization and immigration has ruined the city completely. Its like the success of Bombay has become its greatest enemy. So, many like me prefer to migrate north of the city or even east of the city and they prefer a bit relatively clean environment. Some never want to return at all. A sad and bitter truth which is often swept under the rug to keep the tourism growing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Successful cities always suffer this fate. The old adage “be careful what you wish for” can be applied to cities and nations as well as individuals. Even restaurants suffer this fate. I want my favorite tavern to be successful but I hate when I go there and it’s crowded and there is no room at the bar. Thanks for the comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think Mumbai must be the only mega city in the world that turns into a wide-scale swimming pool every year even after being the financial capital city of the country. The city churns out millions each day and look at the infrastructure. Simply rotten and pathetic.

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    2. Its like the success of Bombay has become its greatest enemy.

      While touring the medieval German city of Rothenburg, the guide noted how the town’s economy was destroyed by the 40 years war. “Our poverty saved the character of the town,” he said.

      Liked by 4 people

    1. I’m only counting the ones I’m playing in. I follow people in the Textures group, and I think about it, but posting every day is a lot of work. I don’t know how you do it. Most of the time, I’m just making stuff up. The posts like this, that require a bit of research drive me crazy. I’m a history nut, so it’s a good kind of crazy, but still…

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      1. Me, too! I have great ideas for researched posts then I realize what that’ll take and …. I definitely need either a research assistant or a bigger back burner 😀

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  2. That door is intriguing, Dan, just seeping with history. Was it a door for deliveries leading to the kitchen? It is wonderful how some people are determined to keep history standing versus demolition. I like the ambiance of this house as is, so I hope it is not touched. Perhaps if it needs structural reinforcement that would be a definite to do. Awesome photos that really gave the reader a real sense of “time”. Thank you, Dan! Love, Amy <3

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Firstly, a round of applause for completing three separate tasks in one post, Dan! Secondly, I really, really like all of your photos today. These old buildings are so photogenic. If I had to venture a guess, I would say that the door without the ramp is the front door. But regardless, both doors have such great character to them that I enjoyed them both. And I love seeing those historical plaques!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Wendy. I think you’re right, the front door is probably the one to the main room. If it’s like our house, it was never used. I love the weathered look to both doors. I mentioned to Amy (above) that I’d like to see the missing clapboards replace, and maybe “prune” the side door but I wouldn’t want to see much else done to this place.

      The Denslow family ended up having a farmhouse about a mile west of this site. That farm is now the site of the Windsor Locks Historical Society. That will be the subject of a future post, but they are only open for a couple of hours on Sundays, so it will require some advance planning on my part.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It always surprises me how vastly different a B&W photo can be from color. This one truly sparks ‘history’ in B&W. (One wonders if you would have been clever enough to choose B&W had you not -so smugly 😀 – needed to juggle your many challenges. Who knew blogging would bring such maneuvers?)

    Great post as always. I am impressed by the background work that goes into these challenges, and you’ve combined them well. Congrats!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did go back and take a photo that would work in B&W. My camera doesn’t actually have B&W as a setting. The challenges are fun, but they are a lot of work. I’m glad you enjoyed these. I’ll be back to a normal routine soon :)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You really know how to multi-task, Dan! I liked the way you included distance as being no big deal to travel and uproot, but was a challenge in the past.
    I always like black and white photos. You were right to point out, the age is not all that big of a deal. Looking at European historical buildings, this Benslow house is an “infant.”
    As far as the entryway, this looks like the main entrance because of the railing. Interesting. . .

    Liked by 1 person

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