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Bank Street fire house

The Bank Street fire house is pictured here in 1908.


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History of Windham


Manufactory of the Willimantic Linen Company

Reproduced (left) is an 1867 woodcut of the Willimantic Linen Company's mammoth Mill Number Two, built in 1864. This mill is now the centerpiece of a multi-million dollar project to attract new industries and tourism to this beautiful area, known as the Northeast's Last Green Valley.

A brief history: Willimantic is located in the town of Windham. It is named for Wymondham in Norfolk, England, and was founded in 1692. The town was originally settled by John Cates, a Puritan soldier fleeing from the wrath of the Royalists following the restoration of the English monarchy after Oliver Cromwell's death.

Windham rapidly developed as the economic and political center of Northeast Connecticut in the 18th century. The village of Windham Center, almost preserved in aspic, still reflects much colonial charm. However, Windham fell into a brief decline when the county seat was moved to Brooklyn in the early 19th century -- but an instant revival was just around the corner. A number of Rhode island industrialists arrived in the southeast corner of Windham in the early 1820s, drawn by the natural water power sources provided by the Willimantic River. Thread City was on its way.



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