Winchester (wĭnˈchĕˌstər, wĭnˈchĭstər) [key]. 1 Town (1990 pop. 11,524), Litchfield co., NW Conn., in the Litchfield Hills; settled 1732, inc. 1771. It includes Winsted (1990 pop. 8,254), an industrial center where ball bearings, paper and metal products, building materials, electrical equipment, and pet supplies are manufactured. Many early 18th-century mansions are in Winsted. Of interest are the little red schoolhouse (1815) and the Winchester Historical Society, located in the Rockwell House (1813). Winchester lies at the gateway to the Berkshire Hills, in a lake region.
2 City (1990 pop. 15,799), seat of Clark co., N central Ky.; inc. 1793. The center of a tobacco, dairying, and livestock area on the edge of the bluegrass country, it has food processing and plants making a variety of manufactures including steel, pharmaceuticals, mining equipment, furniture, paper products, apparel, and feeds. Henry Clay made his last speech in Kentucky in the old courthouse there. Winchester is the headquarters of Cumberland National Forest.
3 Town (1990 pop. 20,267), Middlesex co., E Mass., a suburb of Boston; settled 1640, inc. 1850. It is chiefly residential with some light industry.
4 City (1990 pop. 23,365), seat of Frederick co., N Va., in the Shenandoah valley; settled 1732 near a Native American village in Lord Fairfax's domain, inc. as a city 1874. It is the trade, processing, and shipping center for an apple-growing, grain, livestock, and dairying district. Its products include motor vehicle parts, furniture, plastics, building materials, foods and beverages, lumber, flour, crushed limestone, and clothing.
George Washington began his career as a surveyor there in 1748. During the French and Indian Wars, Winchester was a center for defense against Native American raids, and Washington, who commanded the Virginia troops, had his headquarters there. Gen. Daniel Morgan lived in Winchester and is buried in Mt. Hebron Cemetery. During the Civil War, the city suffered severely, changing hands many times. Stonewall Jackson headquartered there during the winter of 1861–62, and Gen. Philip Sheridan during the winter of 1864–65. Of interest are the old Presbyterian Church (1790) and the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley. Shenandoah Univ. (1875) is there. The city is the birthplace of Willa Cather and Richard E. Byrd.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.