Windsor celebrates 132nd birthday

Published 3:06 pm Thursday, June 20, 2024

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Guests gathered at Rosemary and Thyme the evening of June 15th. Newly sworn in mayor of Plains, Joey Recker, sat at the piano, playing selections from artists including Billy Joel, Elton John, and Ray Charles.

Guests enjoyed wine and dinner, with Americus Mayor Lee Kinnamon proposing a toast. Clad in a blue suit jacket and holding a sparkling glass, he addressed the guests, thanking Joey Recker and giving him his endorsement.

He charted the history of the hotel, starting from when it was the square where the court house once stood. He noted that the great-grand uncle of Charles Crisp, a local developer in attendance at the celebration, had been the one to measure the court house square before the construction of the Windsor on August of 1888.

He noted that his own great-great-grandfather, Major Moses Speer, and Charles Crisp’s great-great-grandfather, John West Sheffield, were friends and business associates. He drew a similar comparison between their friendship and the friendship between him and Crisp, remarking on a similar desire to create plans for the town to prosper.

Kinnamon further traced the history of the hotel’s operation until the early 70’s, when the hotel closed. He told how many thought that the building should be torn down to build a parking lot. Mayor Russell Thomas, who was in attendance at the celebration, was one of the leaders of a crusade to save the hotel. Kinnamon noted wryly that the investors probably lost their money, but noted the benefits of their effort, declaring: “We are here now, aren’t we? Thanks be to God!”

Kinnamn also expressed hopes for the future, saying that they could not believe their fortunes existed only in the past, but that their fortunes were ahead of them.

Kinnamon then gave a birthday toast to the Windsor, after which everyone enjoyed white cake with icing. Guests were provided with a “key to the hotel,” and participated in a spirited rendition of happy birthday in honor of the Windsor.