The town of Windham has a very interesting seal. It features a bull frog. The new highway bridge crossing the Willimantic River in Windham features large statues of frogs. Just what is this local fascination with frogs? It all began over 240 years ago.
The following account of the events which led to the Frogs of Windham legend originally appeared in John Warner Barber's book, Connecticut Historic Collections, published in 1836. It was taken from earlier accounts.
"On a dark cloudy dismal night in the month of July, A. D. 1758, the inhabitants of Windham, a small town in the Eastern part of Connecticut, had retired to rest, and for several hours, all were wrapped in profound repose -- when suddenly, soon after midnight, the slumbers of the peaceful inhabitants were disturbed by a most terrific noise in the sky right over their heads, which to many seemed the yells and screeches of infuriated Indians.
There seemed no other way of accounting for the awful sounds which still kept increasing, but by supposing the day of judgement had certainly come. To their terrified imaginations the awful uproar in the air seemed the immediate precursor of the sound of the last trumpet. At intervals, many supposed they could distinguish the calling out of the names of Colonels Dyer and Elderkin, two eminent lawyers, and this increased the general terror.
But soon there was a rush from every house, the tumult in the air still increasing, old and young, male and female, poured forth into the streets, "in puris naturalibus," entirely forgetful in their hurry and consternation of their nakedness, and with eyes upturned tried to pierce the almost palpable darkness.
My venerable informant who well recollects the event, says that some daring spirits concluding there was nothing supernatural in the hubbub and uproar overhead, but rather that they heard the yells of Indians commencing a midnight attack, loaded their guns and sallied forth to meet the invading foes. These valiant heroes on ascending the hill that bounds the village on the East, perceived that the sounds came from that quarter, and not from the skies, as first believed, but their courage would not permit them to proceed to the daring extremity of advancing eastward, until they had discovered the real cause of alarm and distress which pervaded the whole village.Continue...