Mill Museum Virtual Exhibits

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To view the Mill Museum’s virtual exhibits, click on the links below.

Here All Along: African Americans in Northeastern Connecticut Before the Great Migration, 1688-1910. African Americans first came to Connecticut in the mid-1600s. Although always a minority, Black Connecticans contributed greatly to the creation of Connecticut’s geography, culture, and economy. However, their experiences contrasted sharply with those of their white neighbors. This exhibit explores the African American experience in the town of Windham, CT — and in surrounding communities — from the arrival of Windham’s first Black resident until the Great Migration of the early 20th century. Sponsored by a grant from Connecticut Humanities.

Latino Experience in Willimantic, CT. Four videos explore the experiences of Willimantic’s vibrant Latino community, from its origins in Puerto Rico, Mexico, and other Latin American countries, through the migrations to Willimantic after 1955, to its involvement in religion, culture, and politics. The videos videos were produced by the Eastern Connecticut State University Foundation, and accompanied a year-long exhibit at the Museum, which also was supported by the ECSU Foundation.

Sidonia’s Thread: Crafting a Life from Holocaust to High Fashion. Following World War II, Sidonia Perlstein, a Jewish survivor of the Holocaust and the Nazi death camps, made her way from Germany to Springfield, MA, bringing her infant daughter with her. In America, Perlstein worked in in textile mills and then opened her own business as a seamstress and designer. This exhibit was co-curated by Perlstein’s daughter, Hanna Marcus and sponsored by the Eastern Connecticut State University Foundation, Connecticut Humanities, and the Hochberg Committee for Holocaust and Human Rights Education at Temple B’Nai Israel.

Unlacing the Corset — Unleashing the Vote. In 1920 Connecticut women achieved the right to vote. One hundred years later, the Mill Museum explored the woman suffrage movement in Connecticut, election day in 1920, and changes in women’s lives over the intervening years. Sponsored by the Anne Wood Elderkin Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Willimantic Club of the Soroptimist International of America.

Unraveled Threads: The Decline and Fall of the Connecticut Textile Industry, A Story of Deindustrialization. The Industrial Revolution transformed Connecticut from an agricultural society into a modern “maker state.” Yet, as early as the 1880s, Connecticut’s textile industry began a long, slow decline, moving first to the U.S. South and then overseas. This exhibit explores what happened when the mills closed and Connecticut was forced to reinvent itself as a postindustrial economy. Sponsored by a grant from Connecticut Humanities.