In April 1900, local Windsor businessman Ed Willoughby had a vision. Windsor needed a lake and park. A place where, in the summer, people could boat, fish, swim, picnic, hold gatherings and, in the winter, a place to cut ice.
In late 1903, the Rock Island railroad was building grade and laying tracks headed for Windsor from the east side of the state and on to Kansas City. By late March of 1904, it was reported that the work on the big reservoir east of Windsor would be completed in a few days. Within a month’s time, Ed Willoughby had met with General Superintendent W. E. Morse of the Rock Island railroad and he consented to allow the town citizens to take charge of the grounds and reservoir for the purpose of converting them into a first-class pleasure resort. The railroad only needed use of the lake to supply water for their stream locomotives. Windsor became the proud owner of its City Park and Lake on July 25, 1954. On this date, J.W. Barriger, Vice President of the Rock Island Lines, officially turned the park over to the city in a ceremony held at the park. The park was officially named “Farrington Park,” honoring J. D. Farrington, the Rock Island President.
Farrington Park Entrance
Fast forward to today. Farrington Park, often referred to as the “Crown Jewel of Windsor”, is used for many of the City’s festivities, including the Fourth of July celebration, a lighted Christmas display, family reunions, weddings, and many other occasions. Boy Scout Troop #1632 meets regularly in a scout cabin located at the park. The Katy Trail is a short distance from the park and the new Rock Island Spur of the Katy Trail runs adjacent to the park.
The campground has established sites for camp trailers and motor homes, with water, electricity, a restroom with showers, sewer hookups and a sewer dump station. Space is also available for tent campers. Guests are given the code to access the showers and the Wifi password when they check in. RV sites are $20.00 per night and tent camping is $10.00 per night. A full-time park employee resides in the park and maintains the park and campground.
Farrington Park Lake is on a tributary of Elm Branch River in Pettis County, Missouri, with a normal surface area of 15 acres. Farrington Park Lake Dam is of earthen construction, rock fill. Its height is 26 feet with a capacity of 209 acre feet and normal storage is 85 acre feet. It drains an area of 752 square miles. The Missouri Department of Conservation, in cooperation with the City of Windsor, monitors the lake, restocks fish as needed and makes recommendations on maintenance of the lake.