THE DUNHAM HALL LIBRARY

The third floor of the museum is where the beautiful Dunham Hall Library is located.  It  has two fireplaces and vaulted timbered ceilings.  The Library houses a unique collection of resources, children’s titles, craft books and much more in a reading room setting.  There are materials on mills, immigration, textiles, and local and Connecticut history.

  • Named after Austin Dunham – Mill Founder & Owner

  • Willimantic’s First Library

  • Opened March 2nd, 1878

  • It was uncommon to have a library and to educate the masses

  • Built with Civil War profits

  • Built to benefit the workers

  • Benevolent project for the whole community

  • Used as a night school to teach English lessions, singing classes, reading & writing

  • Used for research

  • Reflects wealth & influence after Civil War

  • An important part of Americanization of immigrant mill workers

  • Also used as an Episcopalian Chapel to try to shake the Irish from their Catholic habits

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