South Windsor, CT - 06074 

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About South Windsor Connecticut:

South Windsor has recently seen an increase in commercial development, a major shift from the town's industrial and agricultural origins. At the same time, the town has seen an over-reliance on residential property taxes to fund the town's budget and services. Many argue that commercial development is necessary. However, some disagree and favor open space, preservation, and regulations limiting commercial as well as further residential developments.

Single and multi-family residential development has lately been discouraged by the town in favor of senior housing complexes, whose residents require fewer town services and do not add children to the school system.

Yet the town borders Manchester, which is home to the Shoppes at Buckland Hills and other stores part of a huge commercial area that serves the entire state. South Windsor had in the past received significant traffic but no taxes from these stores. Thus the town approved Evergreen Walk, a 1.2 million square foot non-enclosed retail development, with some 60 outlets. In recent years, the Buckland commercial zone bordering Manchester has been greatly developed and the town now receives significant taxes from the retail sector.

Development continues on Buckland Road, with former tobacco fields and barns giving way to various retail and office projects. The town also plans to develop the I-291 Gateway Zone, located at the southern end of John Fitch Boulevard (U.S. Route 5).

In 1659, Thomas Burnham (1617 - 1688) purchased the tract of land now covered by the towns of South Windsor and East Hartford from Tantinomo, Chief sachem of the Podunk Indians.[1] Burnham lived on the land and later willed it to his nine children.[2] Beginning in the middle of the 17th Century, a few of the settlers of Windsor, Connecticut, began using land on the east bank of the Connecticut River for grazing and farming purposes. By 1700, a number of families had made their homes in this area, now known as South Windsor. In 1768, the residents of the area were allowed to incorporate as the separate town of East Windsor, though the area was informally referred to as East Windsor before this time, which then included all of East Windsor, South Windsor and Ellington. Known for its agriculture and ship building, the town supplied more than 200 volunteers during the American Revolution. In 1786, Ellington became an independent town. South Windsor itself was incorporated as a town in 1845. Tobacco was a major crop grown in South Windsor since its founding. However, the town has industrialized and commercialized more over time.

(Old) Main Street, located near the Connecticut River and running North to South from the border of East Hartford to that of East Windsor, is the center of the town's historical district. Wood Memorial Library, Ellsworth School, and the nation's oldest continually operating Post Office are located on the street. Minister Timothy Edwards is buried in a cemetery located on Main Street and the town's middle school is named for him. In 1698, Edwards became the first minister for the settlers on the east side of the river and his church was built on Main Street (in present day South Windsor). His son, theologian Jonathan Edwards, was born in South Windsor (at the time still part of Windsor). Ulysses S. Grant stayed at a home on the street and John Adams wrote that he "spent the morning riding through Paradise" when he traveled through town (what was then part of East Windsor) in 1771.

The town has become less and less agricultural/rural since 1950. This former farming community has been transformed into a suburban town with industrial and commercial districts. The town's population more than tripled between 1950 and 2000. In the early 1990s, residents mobilized against a proposed nuclear waste dump located near the East Windsor town line. They were successful in their drive to keep the town nuclear-free.

Currently, the town is at a crossroads trying to reconcile the town's rural history and character with exploding residential and now even commercial development.  

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