Windsor History

The first Europeans to settle into Windsor arrived in 1851. Of those settlers, a man named Hiram Lewis became the first postmaster in the town. Lewis named the town Windsor after the Windsor Castle located in his hometown in the United Kingdom. Lewis established an actual post office in 1855, which led to the success of the businesses that were established the following year. In 1856, a shoe store, a goods shop, a grocery store, a meat shop, a hotel, and a boarding house all popped up in Windsor. The railroad was complete in 1872. Tragically, in 1905 many of the town’s businesses were destroyed by a large fire, causing about $30,000 in damage. The town was slowly reconstructed after that, and in 1915, the first roads were paved.


During World War II, an air base for the U.S. Army Air Force was built in the town, serving as a key part of the nation’s fight. In 1943, a camp for German prisoners of war was also built in downtown Windsor. It was common during this time for residents to hear aircraft and bomber planes overhead.


During the 1980s, the development of housing increased rapidly, contributing to the economic and population growth in town. Before its boom, Windsor’s economy was largely based off of wine grapes and other agricultural items. The town of Windsor was officially incorporated in 1992. In all previous years, Windsor has just been considered a part of unincorporated Sonoma County.