Paths to the Present: a recreation paradise of the past | MyWindsorNow.com
Caitlin Heusser
For Windsor Now!

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Paths to the Present: a recreation paradise of the past

Boats on Windsor Lake, bandstand visible on the shore in background.

It is spring, and with the warm weather we find ourselves itching to get outside and recreate.

Things were not much different in the past for Windsor residents. By 1882, Windsor was a destination for outdoorsmen from Denver. Windsor Lake had a plentiful supply of fish for anglers, and hunters had ample opportunities to hunt waterfowl.

Recreation was taken to a whole new level with the construction of Windsor Park Grounds in 1902. Vernon McKelvey, developer and owner of the Grounds, purchased a fleet of small boats for Windsor Lake which could be rented for 25 cents per hour. He stocked the lake with black bass, yellow perch and ringed perch to entice visitors. In addition, a large sports facility was constructed on the easts shore of the lake and included various ball fields, a bandstand, dance pavilion and bathhouses.

On May 23, 1903, a field meet for northern Colorado high schoolers was held at the complex with great success. The event was intended to be an annual occurrence, but was sparsely attended in the second year and was discontinued in the third year.

Windsor Park Grounds failed within a few years due to lack of an income source. Windsor residents did not want to pay to watch and participate in sporting events they could do at no cost elsewhere, and McKelvey could not entice out-of-town visitors to attend.

The land later was platted for residential homes. The area became known as the "Park Addition," and homes were built on what were once ball and track fields.

— Caitlin Heusser is the museum curator for the town of Windsor.