Ken Brunner was headed to the gym Sunday morning when he stopped to see a piece of Windsor and his family’s history smoldering on Main Street.
The fire that tore through the Windsor Mill early Sunday morning not only burned a multimillion dollar project, but also a piece of Windsor’s history.
Windsor-Severance Fire Chief Herb Brady described the Windsor Mill fire as probably the largest in the town’s history in terms of damage and destruction.
Brunner said his dad, Henry Brunner, was a co-owner of the Windsor Mill and elevator in the mid 1960s to the late ’70s. He was excited to see life being breathed into the old structure.
He was saddened by the news of the fire that left smoke drifting through downtown and an old building burned nearly to the ground.
“I thought I’d go see it one more time before they completely demolished it,” he said. “It’s a sad day for Windsor.”
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As tears and hugs were passed among the many residents who turned out Sunday morning to see the damage, many spoke fondly about the landmark.
The Windsor Mill was built in 1899, and was a central hub for agricultural activity, said Windsor Mayor Kristie Melendez.
“For a long time it was a gathering place as folks came in and brought their crops there,” she said.
Her mother, Marjorie Straube, the vice president of the Windsor Severance Historical Society, said even those who were not farmers were aware of its importance when she was growing up in the ’50s.
When the town’s agricultural boom began in the late 1800s, Straube said the mill was needed to replace an older one that had burned down “across the railroad tracks.”
Harold Stoll, a former Windsor resident…
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