windsor historical society and museum


By 1855 Windsor was an official town with its own U.S. post office and the principal of the Russian River Township that encompassed 41,423 acres. In its heyday, Windsor boasted four hotels, seven saloons, seven wineries, several grocery stores, three livery stables, a railroad depot, lodge halls, numerous grammar schools, and many other businesses. Farmers in the area raised livestock and grew grain, grapes, hops, and prunes in the rich Russian River bottomland. Herds of cattle were driven from area ranches through the streets of town to the train depot. During World War II, fighter planes roared overhead to the army air base constructed on Windsor ranchland, and on the other side of town, a prisoner-of-war camp housed young Germans who worked on Windsor’s farms.        From Barbara Rays, “Images of America, Windsor”

After the war Windsor was a quiet, small town that saw minimal growth. Highway 101 split the town into east and west Windsor. Most often events were recorded as having occurred “7 miles north of Santa Rosa” or “5 miles south of Healdsburg”

All that changed with the housing boom of the 1980’s. Windsor’s population grew quickly as affordable homes were being built on the old ranches. Windsor incorporated into Sonoma County’s 9th city in 1992 , but we still call ourselves a “Town”.

Today, Windsor’s population is almost 27,000 people that are mostly young families. The diverse ranches of hops, prunes, grapes and apples have given way to almost exclusively premium quality grapes. Windsor is known today as the “Gateway to the Wine Country”.


Foster and advance collection and preservation of history and historical artifacts relating to the Windsor area, and to develop a place for the storage and display of such historical items.

Windsor Historical Society

9225 Foxwood Drive

Windsor, CA 95492

(707) 838-4563

A day in the life of Windsor...yesterday and today.