The following materials cover a wide range of topics related to the textile industry in Willimantic from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Children of the Cotton Industry

ChildrenoftheCottonIndustryPP / ChildrenoftheCottonIndustryPDF / GlossaryForChildrenoftheCottonIndustryPDF

This presentation examines the lives of southern children who grow up picking cotton for northern US factories.

Child Labor 1870s – 1930s

ChildLaborPP / ChildLaborPDF / GlossaryforChildLaborPDF

Child Labor presents the lives of children who worked in factories during the  heyday of the textile industry.

The Story of My Cotton Dress

TheStoryofMyCottonDressPP / TheStoryofMyCottonDressPDF / GlossaryforMyCottonDressPDF

My Cotton Dress explores all of the work children had to do to make a single garment. From growing and picking the cotton to selling the finished product.

The Boss Family

BossFamilyPP / BossFamilyPDF / BossFamilyGlossaryPDF

The Boss Family looks at the privileged lives of a mill manager’s children verses children of working class families.

Life of a Mill Worker’s Family – 1893

LifeofaMillWorkerFamilyPP / LifeofaMillWorkerFamilyPDF / GlossaryforMillWorkerFamilyPDF

This is the story of one poor Irish immigrant family and how they came to Willimantic to start a new life.

Mill Memories: Photographs of Mill Workers


A look at the lives of mill workers through the photography collection at the Windham Textile and History Museum.

Willimantic 1882 – 1909

WillimanticConnecticut1882and1909PP / WillimanticConnecticut1882and1909  

Using old maps and images, a story is told about the town of Willimantic at the turn of the 20th century.

Swift Waters, Hot Steam, and Electric Motors


A presentation on different types of power used by the mills at Willimantic Falls, 1822-2012.

The Civil War: Connecticut’s Cotton Connection


This lecture was given during the Mill Museum’s Civil War exhibit in 2011-2012.

A Gneiss Prospect: Shaping an Early Industrial Ecosystem in Connecticut’s Lower Willimantic River Valley, 1820-1920


How both environment and industrial history helped shaped eastern Connecticut.

If Walls Could Talk: Researching the History of Your House: A Guide for Beginners


A 2011 lecture given by the WTHM director, Dr. Jamie Eves.