On May 23rd, 2021, Museum Educator Bev York, and a group of intrepid explorers braved a drizzly day to tour three locations, the village of South Windham, the grounds of the American Thread Mills, and the Connecticut Eastern Railroad Museum. To the left is what remains of a stable and carriage barn on the grounds of the old thread mill.
The Willimantic River has a series of diversionary dams and leets to run the mill wheels . Even after they converted to steam then electricity to run the machinery, the dams remain in place. The river drop 90 feet over a short length of waterway and this is why it was the perfect place to find swift running water. That definition is actually what “willimantic” means in Algonquin.
Bev and Duke York bring the explorers into the Rail Museum yard by walking the length of the tracks. The museum has 20 vintage rail cars, a round house and a turn table.
This derelict coach car needs some TLC. The Rail Museum will accept any monetary donations as well as historically correct cleaners, paints and manual labor to get this done.
This Trackmobile runs on rails or roads and is used to switch individual cars.
This is a Central Vermont 4052 restored caboose.
This is 25 ton General Electric diesel locomotive.
These three passsenger cars await restoration.
Below, demonstrating how a well balanced turntable can be used to change cars.
Photos & Videos courtesy of Thomas A. Avery. Thanks!