Thursday Doors – Loomis or Chaffee?

Windsor Historical Society

I’m wondering how many of my regular readers saw the photo of the Windsor Historical Society building in Monday’s post and thought: “I bet he’s coming back to those doors on Thursday.” What can I say, I’m nothing if not predictable.

The stone bridge’s birthday party will ultimately lead to three blog posts. There was the story of the bridge on Monday. At some point, there will be a story about the Historical Society itself. But, the Historical Society sits in a little enclave of Windsor history, and of course, that means doors. Why are doors important? I hear you ask.

Every Thursday, our friend Norm Frampton, oh wait, Norm is still on vacation. Our friend Manja hosts a get-together for door-lovers and their photos, paintings, and stories about the doors they love. If you want to participate, you can go to Norm’s place, which will direct you to Manja’s place. Now, here’s the deal: Look at Manja’s doors (that’s easy because she always shares the most beautiful doors). Then look for the blue frog. Careful, that little tadpole has traveled from Montreal to Indianapolis to Hartford and now to Italy! He may be a little jet-lagged. Touch him gently with your mouse and I’m sure he will let you into the world of doors. Add your doors, or just look around.

Downtown Windsor

The area of Windsor where the Windsor Historical Society is located should be familiar to my regular readers. The Historical Society is directly across the street from the The First Church, which I featured two years ago. It’s set in with a group of historic houses and at least one newer building, many of these buildings were once part of The Chaffee School. If your familiar with preparatory schools, you might have heard of the Loomis Chaffee School. It’s an interesting school, formed from tragedy.

You can read the entire history here, but the thumbnail version is that the Loomis and Chaffee families were both early settlers in Windsor. James Loomis and Abigail Sherwood Chaffee, married in 1805 and had five children. Those five families suffered, as none of their collective children survived beyond the age of 21. They pledged their financial resources in July of 1874 to their mutual care, with any remaining funds being set aside to form a school for “all persons of the age of twelve years and upwards to twenty.” Forty years later in 1914, the school opened its doors to 39 boys and 13 girls.

The Loomis school was built a bit southeast of the center of town on the original Loomis homestead. At some point, (details are unclear) the Chaffee school opened, across the Farmington River, near where the Historical Society sits and was used for the education of girls. In the 1970s, the schools merged and expanded in what is now the Loomis Chaffee School.

The doors in the gallery were captured as I wandered around the grounds, in between finishing my dinner at Bart’s and the celebration of the bridge’s birthday. Some of the houses are historical sites, some are in private hands, and it wasn’t clear which was which. I tried to be discreet, knowing that you would all understand, and that I could come back and tour the historic sites for another Thursday’s post.

Enjoy the doors in the gallery. You can click on any one to start a slide show. Again, please visit Manja’s site and thank her for hosting this week. Joey and I and Manja were proud to help Norm enjoy his vacation. It looks like we didn’t set the place on fire, so I hope he comes back rested and ready for another edition of Thursday Doors.


  1. Ahh, thanks for your kind words, Dan, and for all your frog help. He is feeling good on his vacation in Italy. I love the facade tone of most of your buildings this week, especially in combination with white. It helps one not think about the dentistry. The Windsor Society’s door is prettiest though.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Your area has so many beautiful heritage buildings that have been carefully restored and maintained. I love that eclectic look of the Historical Society building. It appears that pieces have been ratcheted on over the years which makes it so appealing, especially since they’ve blended everything together so neatly.

    However, as usual, my favourite, favourite, favourite part of your Thursday Doors is always the door introduction and again this week you didn’t disappointment with the comment … “that little tadpole has traveled from Montreal to Indianapolis to Hartford and now to Italy! He may be a little jet-lagged.” bwahahahaha! I love your humour! :D

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Janet. I was worried about including a law office and a dentist office/home in the same post, but that is a bright and pretty building. Guest hosting sure gave me an even better appreciation of what Norm does every week. Phew, he’s coming back :)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Charming. So charming.
    I am not even a fan of modern dentistry, so you can be sure I don’t wanna think about what it was like in 1789. Mercy.
    Windsor Historical Society doors are befitting, love the side doors and the shed-type doors. Also very fond of what you think might be a Community Center — that’s just lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! Actually, I don’t think dentistry has improved much since 1789, but I guess it is slightly less painful. I like those shed style doors and the door I featured today, with its companion window. I think the large building was part of the school (it has that look).

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I also like the The Windsor Society’s door the most – like MMM- and found it so curious to have the window under the awning and spaced like that – wonderful history series you are doing, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve noticed that many houses in my grandparent’s hometown (in Mass) are painted a cheery, lemony yellow! I guess because much of the year is grey. It’s always sad to read about infant mortality rates back in our great grandparent’s day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It truly is sad. When you think of a family of five children all outliving there own children by decades…it’s hard to imagine. There are a lot of houses in the historic areas around here that have that cheerful paint job – maybe it was them battling the gray skies.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Deborah. My best friend grew up in Windsor and only recently told me that this little area used to be part of the school. It’s set off the main road, so stopping and taking photos is a little conspicuous. I wish I could have lingered a bit longer at some of the houses. I can’t wait until I have a chance to tour the public buildings, I’d love to see the inside.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. A couple of comments mentioned the roof over the door and window. It is a wise choice. The window allows the resident to view who has come to the door and the overhang allows the visitor to stand where they can be seen in inclimate weather.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! I’m glad you enjoy the intro, I do enjoy writing them. The history intrigues me. I try to think about the people who built these houses, that bridge, and all these doors. It fascinating. Thanks for reading and for taking the time to comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I was saddened at the loss of the Loomis-Chaffee children. I think their wonderful legacy of the school for those older than twelve years old up to age 20 is remarkable foresight on the part of the family, Dan.

    I liked all the beautiful brick (with crisp white details!) and special, rust colored buildings. The Windsor Historical Society has a unique door, (your first one) caught and held me.
    The second favorite one is the butter cream or light lemon house with the lawyer’s office inside. So pretty!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Dan – lots of doors here .. and they all open onto vistas unknown … this little foray into Windsor’s historical past is fascinating …

    I wrote about Washington and his teeth nearly 7 years ago (crumbs – time flies!) …

    “I thought Washington’s mouth looked ‘a little strained’ in portraits of him … which now I know was obviously correct: his sets of teeth causing great pain, for which he took laudanum.

    Can you imagine having plates carved from hippopotamus and elephant ivory, into which real human teeth and bits of horses’ and donkeys’ teeth were inserted, then held together with gold springs? (None of them being made from wood as the lore seems to suggest).”

    I think I’ll go back to looking at doors! Dappled sunlight always gives great portrayals of other things … love that photo – hope you can get back fairly soon for another longer lingering … cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Hilary. I knew George’s teeth weren’t wood, but I didn’t know what they were made of. I do hope to get back to these sites at some point. I’d say winter but I already have more places I want to visit than we normally have winter weekends 😏

      Liked by 1 person

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