History

About Windham & Willimantic

Windham is located in the northeastern part of Connecticut and has a long established history.  It was first incorporated in 1692 from land the Mohegan tribe willed to sixteen men from nearby Norwich.  During the colonial period it became a bustling business center and the county seat.

 

Yet change was in the air.  The mills for which the area would soon be famous for were built starting in the 1820s around the nearby village of Willimantic Falls on the banks of the river of the same name.  The village of Willimantic became a borough of Windham about 1833 and the town’s central business focus eventually shifted to there.

 

Windham, and especially its borough Willimantic, made its name in textiles.  The town’s reputation and fortunes were built by the Willimantic Linen Company (later American Thread Company).  The rivers and streams encouraged the growth of mills and factories and help the area become part of the early Industrial Revolution.  Thanks to the textile industry, Willimantic became a boomtown and experienced its greatest growth in the mid-to-late 1800s.  The prosperity the town benefited from during this period is reflected in its many elaborate Victorian homes and cottages, as mill bosses, managers, and even workers enjoyed various levels of material wealth and comfort.

 

The Hill Section of Willimantic has retained much of its Victorian charm, aside from the usual creeping amenities of the 21st century.  Visitors are encouraged to stroll through the neighborhoods and take pleasure in the beautiful architecture from this period.

 

 

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