October 22, 2006 – Dedication Ceremony
The narrow stone arch bridge was built in 1857 by Lyman Jordan and Nathaniel Olin. The Bridge never had a consistent name but has been called South Main Street Bridge, Jillson Hill Bridge, the Lower Bridge and Windham Road Bridge. The stone arch replaced an earlier wooden bridge that was adjacent to an iron forge and was known as the Iron Works Bridge. That earlier bridge was destroyed by a flood in 1771 and rebuilt. In 1857 the new stone arch cost $3,200 to build and was paid for by the Willimantic Linen Co. (Willimantic Thread) and an eight percent tax hike on the town’s richest citizens. In 1903 the trolley tracks were laid over the bridge which added to the congestion. In 1907 the Townspeople wanted to widen the bridge, but this idea was rejected in favor of planning for a new bridge. Ninety years later the “Thread City Crossing” Bridge was dedicated, thus resulting in the October 22nd, 2006 dedication of the Windham Garden on the Bridge.
Photos by Brooke Shannon