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Filename=pic3.jpg Filesize=121KB Dimensions=1024x592 Date added=Feb 26, 2010
JumboWhen Barnum and Bailey's Circus brought Jumbo, the largest elephant in captivity, from England to the United States in the 1880s, it hit the national headlines. The Willimantic Linen Company soon jumped on the bandwagon and produced this card. It depicts Jumbo being dragged through the streets of New York City with unbreakable Willimantic cotton thread!
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Filename=1-7-2016-pow.jpg Filesize=309KB Dimensions=2047x1025 Date added=Jan 07, 2016
Pic of the Week January 7, 2015From the 1920s until the early 40s, marching bands and dance bands provided much of the music for all types of Willimantic events. The “Al-Pierre Tabarin” on Valley Street was one of Eastern Connecticut’s premier dance spots. Hal White had studied at the Boston Conservatory of Music and put this band together in the early 1930s. Local musicians included Kerman Lavigne (tenor sax), Clarence Sylvester (banjo), Bill and Ray Buckingham (trumpets), Roy Grover (drums),Lester Carter (piano), Rodney Clune (alto sax), and Hal White (violin and sax).
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Filename=POW-9-5-2013.jpg Filesize=320KB Dimensions=858x693 Date added=Sep 05, 2013
Memorial Day, 1911This photo shows the 1911 Memorial Day parade.The drum belonged to Wheeler's American Band which accompanied the Police Department in that parade and behind Wheeler's was the local National Guard Company, Company "L". In back of Company "L" is the French-Canadian paramilitary organization, Garde Florimond. They had already marched up Main St. and were "picking up" the Grand Army of the Republic and Women’s Relief Corps Floral Wagon, The Spanish-American War veterans and a large contingent of children from Natchaug School for the march to Willimantic Cemetery. The parade of 1911 was the first in which a group of schoolchildren was asked to participate. Pic of the Week September 5, 2013
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Filename=1910-7-4-1910-painters.jpg Filesize=536KB Dimensions=1624x1092 Date added=Jul 06, 2014
PaintersThe day also included several other athletic events, an afternoon band concert, an evening water carnival on the banks of the river, a second band concert in the evening and a fireworks display.
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Filename=4-9-2015.jpg Filesize=937KB Dimensions=1392x1117 Date added=Apr 16, 2015
The Knights of Columbus Boys BandThe Knights of Columbus Boys Band stands in front of the north door of Natchaug School. . It was organized in 1917 by Charles Wheeler and played at Willimantic events until the early 1930s. They are in front of the north door of Natchaug School. This band started out as "The American Boy's Band" and was part of a local Boy Scout Troop. When the troop lost its charter, Wheeler was able to get a new sponsor - the Knights of Columbus. Years later, the band became known as "The Thread City Cadets.
6-2-2016-pow.jpg
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Filename=6-2-2016-pow.jpg Filesize=167KB Dimensions=1802x1210 Date added=Jun 09, 2016
BPOE Elks BandThe band was led by local legendary musician Charles Wheeler (kneeling, to the right of the drum).
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Filename=military-2~0.jpg Filesize=509KB Dimensions=1423x1993 Date added=May 08, 2012
Company "L", 1st Infantry , Connecticut Army National Guard (CTARNG), Company "L", 1st Infantry , Connecticut Army National Guard (CTARNG), prepares to leave Willimantic on June 24, 1916. They had been called to duty for the Mexican American Border War. President Wilson activated National Guard troops to reinforce garrisons along the border. On the morning of June 24th the Willimantic Fire Bell gave a "two hours 'til assembly" alert. People gathered at the Pleasant Street Armory. With all church bells ringing, government leaders, the police force and Wheeler's American Band escorted the troops to the train station. Note the troops and their gear. What we found really interesting about the pic is the fact that you can see the expressions on so many faces. Look toward the lower middle of the photo, for example, and notice the soldier shaking hands with another man. Then just below and to the left of that (near the train) is a couple talking to a soldier while a girl looks on...perhaps his parents and sister. Our soldiers from Willimantic were in Nogales for only a short period of time. Company L apparently didn't see any fighting but several soldiers sent letters back home complaining about the conditions they had to live in. Company L returned to Willi before the year's end and their return was a celebrated as their departure with the ringing of church bells, the fire bell, parades and, of course, speeches. They were mustered out of Federal service on October 24, 1916.
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Filename=9-3-2015b.jpg Filesize=586KB Dimensions=2048x1364 Date added=Sep 03, 2015
Memorial Day Parade - 1908Chief Edgar.H. Richmond (left) and Lieutenant Daniel Killourey are leading the Willimantic Police (Patrolmen John Manley, Carl Enander, Allan McArthur, Louis Paulhus, Thomas Grady, P.J. Hurley, E.P. Weeks, Edward Leahy, Joseph Cartier and Henry Chamberlin). They are followed by Parade Marshal Luke Flynn and his staff on horseback, Charles Wheeler’s Willimantic Band, Company “L” of the National Guard and Garde Florimond.
4-13-2017boys band-1.jpg
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Filename=4-13-2017boys band-1.jpg Filesize=69KB Dimensions=746x482 Date added=Apr 13, 2017
KofC Boys' BandPictured are members of the Knights of Columbus Boy’s Band. The band later became known as the Willimantic Cadets and was led by local legendary bandmaster Charles Wheeler. The photo was taken in front of the Loomer Opera House.
Hope Valley Band-Ralph Cabit.jpg
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Filename=Hope Valley Band-Ralph Cabit.jpg Filesize=75KB Dimensions=1024x465 Date added=Jun 22, 2010
Hope Valley BandThis is a photo of the Hope Valley Band playing in March, 1970 at Purple Heart, a social center in Willimantic. From left to right, Ralph Cabit-guitar , Dick Theriault-singer, John Boudreau-drums, Dave Dinse-guitar, Ray Macht-bass. Photo courtesy of Ralph Cabit. If any of our visitors has a picture of early local bands, please let us know so that we can post them here.
6-26-14pow.jpg
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Filename=6-26-14pow.jpg Filesize=837KB Dimensions=1080x882 Date added=Jun 26, 2014
Community Reunion Week ParadeOn June 17, 1930, a parade was one of many events that celebrated “Community Reunion Week” over a four day period. Eight bands, twenty floats and just about every community organization participated. Following the parade, huge community entertainment venues were set up at the Elks Park and the State Armory. Pic of the Week June 26, 2014
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Filename=1-7-2016-tc.jpg Filesize=419KB Dimensions=1279x824 Date added=Jan 14, 2016
Hal White and his AristocratsHal White had studied at the Boston Conservatory of Music and put this band together in the early 1930s. Local musicians included Kerman Lavigne (tenor sax), Clarence Sylvester (banjo), Bill and Ray Buckingham (trumpets), Roy Grover (drums),Lester Carter (piano), Rodney Clune (alto sax), and Hal White (violin and sax). The photo was taken at the Capitol Theater.
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Filename=11-10-2016-pow.jpg Filesize=199KB Dimensions=1919x787 Date added=Oct 27, 2016
"The Peerless" Orchestra"The Peerless" played locally for almost twenty-five years. It was managed by Prosper Vegiard. Members included Ralph Gibson, Rod Cote, Jasper Woodward, Del Dion, Ray Sypher, Leo Dion, Mattie Mattison, Henry Daloe and Cliff Donnelly. In 1933 the band changed leadership and became “Mattie and the Lads”.
10-06-16 pow-full.jpg
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Filename=10-06-16 pow-full.jpg Filesize=639KB Dimensions=1956x1452 Date added=Oct 13, 2016
Mechanics Brass Band of South Windham Brass bands were very popular in the late 1800s and almost every town had one.
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Filename=7-14-2016.jpg Filesize=412KB Dimensions=1405x2048 Date added=Jul 14, 2016
Pan American Clipper "America" at Windham AirportThis is the Pan American Clipper Ship “America” at Windham airport after it made an emergency belly landing there on June 18, 1946. On board at the time were actress Vivien Leigh and her husband, Laurence Olivier. The plane sat at the airport for over a month while extensive repairs were made. During its first two days at the airport, over three thousand people came to see it. When it finally took flight again on July 24, crowds again lined the banks of the airport to watch. Read an eyewitness story by Adrian Atkins in our Pic of the Week Forum.
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Filename=June05.jpg Filesize=75KB Dimensions=1024x543 Date added=Jun 05, 2010
Willimantic Cotton Mfg. Co.The Willimantic Cotton Manufacturing Company was established in 1814, one of the first in Connecticut. "Eagleville Lake was created as a reservoir for the mill's water power. When the Eagle Manufacturing Company took charge in 1822, the village became Eagleville. Rifle parts were made during the Civil War, then the mill returned to cotton production under several changes in ownership. When the textile business failed in 1931 during the Depression, inner-soles for shoes were made at the mill until it was abandoned in 1953 and then burned in 1956." Information from http://www.willimanticriver.org/recreation/pg_park_eagleville-preserve.html passim. Another picture is available on that site.
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