Archer Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church
321 Hayden Station Road
A community of African Americans resided in the Hayden Station area during the 19th century. The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church was one of the religious and social centers for this community. Its first building was constructed with financial assistance from a local philanthropist, Frederick Thrall. The original church was located next to the pine grove north of Hayden Station Road and Pond Road. In 1915 the church was relocated and named Archer Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church in memory of Sandy Archer.
Sandy Archer remembered
Sandy Archer, born in 1806, was a sincere Christian who died at the age of 108. Mr. Archer was born a slave in the south. Through the Underground Railroad, Archer escaped from his slave owner and came to the Windsor area where he began his days of freedom. A Windsor road was named in his honor.
Archer Memorial Cemetery
During the 1880's and 1890's, the first resident pastor, Reverend Dennis Scott White, conducted popular camp meetings in the Pine Grove. The cemetery, located in the Pine Grove, contains the graves of Sandy Archer and his wife Elizabeth, along with other members of Archer. There are approximately 21 graves located in the cemetery. The nearby pond was used by the congregation for baptismal services and by the town for swimming and ice-skating.
Joseph Rainey House
229 Palisado Avenue
Joseph Rainey purchased this property on May 20, 1874 and owned it for the remainder of his life. It was used by Rainey and his family as a summer residence. Rainey is best known for being the first African American elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, serving for the state of South Carolina. He was also elected to five terms, holding office from 1870 to 1879. During this period he introduced petitions for the passage of civil rights legislation that would guarantee African Americans their full constitutional rights. He dramatized his stance on the issues of access to public accommodations by his refusal to leave the dining room of a hotel in Suffolk, Virginia, forcing the owner to remove him. The Rainey family was active in the First Church of Windsor and in 1876 Rainey spoke at the town's observance of the American Centennial celebration. The house is privately owned and not open to the public. It is included in the Palisado Avenue National Register Historic District.
Only a few slaves remained in Connecticut by the time the state passed its full emancipation law in 1848. Several of these individuals were too aged to care for themselves and therefore continued working with their former owners. It is believed that Nancy Tomey, a former slave of the Chaffee/Loomis family of Windsor was the last survivor of this group in Connecticut. When she died in 1857, she was buried in the Palisado Cemetery. The grave is at the rear of the cemetery, located on the left side of the road in an area with few markers.
Riverside Cemetery - New site!
Riverside Cemetery on East Street in Windsor, is our newest Freedom Trail site. A number of African American soldiers from the all Black Connecticut 29th and 31st regiments and other civil war units are
Freedom Trail Activities
These annual events take place in September
- Gospel Fest on the Green
- Freedom Trail Run (starts at Archer, ends at Keney Park)
For information, please call 860-688-5225
The above information was reprinted from the "Freedom Trail Sites Windsor" brochure from the Connecticut Freedom Trail
Also of note though not officially a "Freedom Trail" site:
375 Palisado Avenue was the site of Moses Mitchell's home. The Mitchells were a family of free African Americans owning property on both sides of the Connecticut River in the late 18th and early 19th century. Moses Mitchell, a farmer, was one of the founding members of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Windsor.