Upcoming Events at the Mill Museum

Special Exhibit: Quilt Show: “Local Colors – A Connecticut Welcome.” The Mill Museum will host an exhibit by SAQA, the Studio Art Quilt Associates, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote the art quilt as a fine art medium. Entrance included in Museum admission. Fri, Aug. 5 – Sept. 25.

Drop-in Spinning Bee with Peggy Church. Sat., Sept. 24, 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. in person at Dugan Hall, 157-B Union St., Willimantic. Bring a spindle or wheel and join us at this free event. Beginners are welcome. We are still requesting that you be COVID vaccinated. Please let us know that you plan to come, and if you have questions, contact Peggy Church at peggychurch2@gmail.com. Spinning Bees are usually held on the fourth Saturday of the month, but the schedule changes for holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. Check here or with Peggy for schedule changes. Park on Union St. or in the lot adjacent to the Museum at 411 Main St.

Walktober: “Windham’s Lost Neighborhoods. Take a free, easy, 2-hour Walktober walk with Windham Town Historian Jamie Eves to learn about places that no longer exist. Use maps and your imagination to explore Old State, Down Sodom, Jillson Hill, the Parcel, and other vanished neighborhoods as they were between the 1820s and 1970s. Look at why neighborhoods are sometimes destroyed by industrialization, agricultural decline, or deindustrialization and what the impact has been on the people who lived there, both locally and in other, similar neighborhoods across the United States. Meet at the Mill Museum, 411 Main Street, Willimantic. Leashed, friendly dogs are welcome. Meet at the Mill Museum. Sat., Oct. 1, 1:00 p.m. Free. A partnership with the Last Green Valley.

Special Exhibit: “Building Thread City: The 200th Anniversary of When the Industrial Revolution Came to Windham/Willimantic in 1822.” In 1822 a Rhode Island entrepreneur, Perez O. Richmond, erected the first industrial factory in the Willimantic section of the Town of Windham, a cotton mill, launching the Industrial Revolution in Windham. Richmond built the mill itself, a dam, raceways, worker housing, and a company store, creating a village that for a while was called Richmondville. Not everyone in Windham welcomed the changes, especially the arrival of a new industrial working class, and it was not long before Richmondville acquired the pejorative name, Down Sodom. The central humanities questions raised by the exhibit will be what economic factors led the industrial revolution in Windham to begin in 1822, how did industrialization reshape the environment, why were some residents apprehensive about the influx of new, working-class people, and what is the legacy of Down Sodom in Windham today? Entrance included in Museum admission, Fri., Oct. 7 – Nov. 13.

Membership Meeting. Like all membership-based non-profits, the Mill Museum has an Annual Membership Meeting, where members vote to fill vacancies on the Museum’s Board of Directors and among its officers. Officers and Directors serve two-year terms (and can be reelected), so not all spots are open, but some are. The meeting will be on Thursday, Oct. 13, at 5:30 p.m. Also, at the Annual Membership Meeting, there will be a report on the financial status of the Museum, along with a brief statement of the Museum’s major initiatives for the future. It will be held via Zoom; anyone wishing to attend should send a request for a Zoom link to director@millmuseum.org.  All Museum members are entitled to attend and vote.

Mill Museum Kids’ Activity. Fri., Oct. 14. Kids can join the Mill Museum’s Educational Director, Kira Holmes, paint a pumpkin, and learn about Halloween and its forerunner Samhain in this free activity from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. in Dugan Hall, 157-B Union St., Willimantic. (Since pumpkins weren’t introduced into Europe from the Americas until the late 15th century, what did the Celts use for jack-o-lanterns before this? Come and find out!)

Drop-in Spinning Bee with Peggy Church. Sat., Oct. 22, 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. in person at Dugan Hall, 157 Union St., Willimantic. Bring a spindle or wheel and join us at this free event. Beginners are welcome. We are still requesting that you be COVID vaccinated. Please let us know that you plan to come, and if you have questions, contact Peggy Church at peggychurch2@gmail.com. Spinning Bees are usually held on the fourth Saturday of the month, but the schedule changes for holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. Check here or with Peggy for schedule changes. Park on Union St. or in the lot adjacent to the Museum at 411 Main St.

Mill Museum Kids’ Activity. Join us at the Connecticut Eastern Railroad Museum for mini-pumpkin decorating. 55 Bridge St., Willimantic, CT. Sat., Oct. 22.

Vendor Fair: “The Steampunk Curio Fair.” Vendors, entertainment, lectures, and more. Nov. 19, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Free with admission to the Museum.