A few weeks ago, I passed a construction site in a neighboring town. It looked like they were improving a Veterans Memorial, and like a good little blogger, I thought maybe I should get some pictures for a Veterans Day post. With traffic behind me and not a lot of options, I made the last left turn before the bridge over the Connecticut River. I was familiar with the road I had turned onto, but not the side streets I would be using to make an elaborate U-Turn. That’s when I discovered a small slice of Door-heaven.
East Windsor, Connecticut has many historic buildings, including a historic mill, but I didn’t know much about the old buildings in the area known as Warehouse Point. According to “The History and Genealogies of Ancient Windsor” this area and that name have been around for a very long time:
“Warehouse Point – As early as 1636, when Springfield, Mass., was settled, Mr. William Pyncheon undertook to send his supplies thither, around by water from Boston; and, finding that his vessels could not pass the falls at this point, he was obliged to provide land carriage 14 miles to Springfield. It was probably years before boats were provided suitable for running the rapids; and Mr. Pyncheon erected a warehouse, at the highest point his vessels could reach, on the east side of the river wherein to store his goods while awaiting transit by land. This warehouse probably stood about forty rods south of State street, and about forty-five to fifty rods below the present ferry-landing between West street and the river bank. It consequently gave to the place the name by which it has ever since been known — Warehouse Point.“
(It’s not often I get to use the word ‘thither’ in a blog post).
Springfield, MA and Warehouse Point, CT are both on the east side of the Connecticut River, which represented a substantial barrier in the 1600s. In 1829, the Windsor Locks Canal was built on the west side of the river, carrying canal boats above the Enfield Rapids for safe passage to Springfield. Later in the mid-late 1800s, the railroad pushed up through Windsor, and Windsor locks, crossing the Connecticut River in southern Enfield, making the canal obsolete.
CT has an OK-ish reputation for converting these old facilities into retail, residential and office space. East Windsor has turned some of these buildings into emergency response space. One of the mini-complexes of buildings has been transformed into the police station, Emergency Operations and a home to the ambulance service. Several factions want the town to commit to spending the (still in a questionable future) money from a new casino, to replace these facilities. I certainly hope that doesn’t involve tearing these buildings down.
After I stopped for some photos in East Windsor, I had a short – unofficial – stop to make at our local police station. Our station is nice, but the police and fire departments would love to have new digs. They struggle to fit in the shared space, but we haven’t found the money to build anything new. Maybe someday guys, maybe someday.
This post is part of Thursday Doors, a weekly emergency response to extinguish the cravings of millions of door aficionados around the world. If you have a door(s) to share, you are welcome to join the legion of dedicated volunteers mustering on any given Thursday. Similarly, if you enjoy looking at doors, you are calling on the right operation. Head on up to the main station in Montreal, where Chief Norm Frampton slides down the pole at 5:30 am to sound the alarm. Check out Norm’s doors and then look for “Sarge” the blue frog. Sarge will direct you to the large parking lot where all the dooresponders are parked.
I wasn’t able to find much information about the history of these buildings, but the Warehouse Point Master Plan states that the historic nature of the buildings in this area is to be preserved, and additions are to respect the period styling. That’s good news.