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Whats Up in Windsor - May 2012

What's Up in Windsor by Bethany Browning
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What's Up in Windsor May 2012

by Thomas Eddy

Discovering Your Past 

Have you ever been told by family members that you were related to someone famous?  Through family stories, my early life was colored with ties to the Mayflower, Abraham Lincoln, and the ill-fated Donor Party; even Laura Ingalls Wilder who penned Little House in the Big Woods was a distant relative from long ago.  As a child, these stories filled me with pride and had always fueled my interest in history.  Yet something was always missing...where was the proof?

Not long ago, following one’s roots was a tedious endeavor requiring people to spend hours in libraries crisscrossing the continent in search of those elusive records that tie one to the stories of ancestors.  If surviving, records were and are still kept at mostly underfunded rural churches and libraries, so mailed in requests for information were sometimes ignored or missed.  I often gave up my early searches just because it was so easy to hit the proverbial brick wall or broken limb of the family tree.  

Through the magic of the Internet, researching one’s genealogy has become almost as easy as online shopping.  For me, the records I found through online resources such as Ancestry.com has provided me the proof that I sought.  While there were Eddy’s associated with early colonization, my line did not arrive here until the mid1800s.  I have yet to find verification of the other stories, but I did find that my great grandfather was one of the first senators of South Dakota that petitioned for statehood...and that he loved being an orator, much to his contemporaries’ chagrin. 

These personal adventures into the family line helped make American history relevant to me.  Holding my great, great grandfather’s Civil War records felt as if he handed them to me himself, but it also peaked my interest in families affected by war.  Their struggles, survival, and grief are just as relevant today as it was so long ago.

Following family history and genealogy is addictive!  If you ever wonder what’s around the next bend, then you know that the adventure is endless and highly rewarding.  With this in mind, I encourage the people of Windsor to discover something new about their family lines, and to seek out unique clues about people and place all around us in our not so little town.

Discovering Windsor’s Past 

Did you know         downtown wasn’t where it is today?  That there was a German Prisoner of War camp just outside of town?  Or our nation’s first airmail flight was piloted by a Windsor man?  Do you want to learn about growing hops in Windsor?  All this information and local family history can be found at the Hembree House Museum, located at 9225 Foxwood Drive, or at www.windsorhistory.org.

Discovering Windsor’s Present 

Saturday, May 12 - 10am to noon:  The Kiwanis Club is hosting the 34th annual Windsor Days Parade.  More detailed information can be found at http://kiwaniswindsor.org/.  There is nothing like a small-town parade to encourage family participation.  With a bit whit and whimsy, each year a Duke & Duchess of Windsor is crowned for their selfless acts that contribute to the betterment of our town.  Congratulations to this year’s Duke and Duchess: Brian St. Amant and Karen Alves. 

Mother’s Day in Windsor:  The Windsor Farmers Market kicks off Mother’s Day with a tea tasting conducted by Chef Mei Ibach.  Nearly every Sunday, the market will host a theme, such as the Kidz Dig It Club, more chef demonstrations, and various festivals highlighting the use of zucchini, tomatoes, and garlic to name a few.  See the market’s website for all the details: http://windsorfarmersmarket.com/.

Discovering Windsor’s Future 

Are you a Windsor resident?  What’s your story?  Our shared stories of people, place, and events make Windsor uniquely different from other communities.  Do you know of a nonprofit or charity event coming up?  How about an educational program?  I am searching the nooks and crannies of Windsor for stories yet to be told, things to do, and places to see that will create new memories of Windsor.

 

Thomas Eddy is currently a graduate student at Sonoma State University writing a master’s thesis on the subject of historic preservation.  He can frequently be found outdoors and always wearing a hat.


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