Photo Du JourWindsor

Watkins House

A devistating fire last week , claimed one of Windsor’s important early Black Heritage sites.

The vacant Willam Watkins house dating to the 1860’s – 1870’s, on Peter Street, was destroyed in a blaze on February 1st. Willam Watkins was the son of escaped slaves who fled the US via the Underground Railroad in the 1840’s.

The Watkins family still lives in the area, although the house hasn’t been in the family for many decades. Homer Watkins, a longtime community fixture in Sandwich, had the street he lived on (Lot St.) renamed Watinks street in his honor in 1963.

This photo from the Windsor Star in 1963, shows Homer Watkins in front of the house.

A similar view today. Sadly the house sustained structural damage, and will likey be demolished.

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Recent Comments:

  • JM on Sandwich East Township Hall: “Here are a few details dealing with the environs of the Sandwich East Township Hall. In the later part of…Nov 27, 14:36
  • don bland on Sandwich East Township Hall: “More of my story about Sandwich East twp hall. I lived in that neighbourhood during the 1950s….Many of the people…Nov 26, 17:31
  • Richard McIntyre on Chatham Street East – 1976: “This was originaly Vexlers Clothing store in fifties and early sixties.Canada Salvage was originaly on Pitt St. or Riverside Dr.…Nov 24, 14:07
  • derek on Sandwich East Township Hall: “Awesome stories Don! You definitely didn’t bore, I love hearing about the cities history, I hope you share some more…Nov 19, 10:26
  • Don Bland on Sandwich East Township Hall: “Sure. I will talk some more about the neighbourhood around Sandwich East Township Hall – back in the 1950’s when…Nov 16, 13:21

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