VISIT THE MILL MUSEUM
The Mill Museum is open from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, except for Christmas Eve, Christmas, Independence Day, the day after Thanksgiving, and the entire month of January (when we close for cleaning and putting up new exhibits). Our telephone number is (860) 456-2178. Our email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Regular Admission: $10.00
Seniors / Children / Students: $7.00
Kids Under 5: Free
THE MAIN BUILDING
Thread Mill Square
In the Industrial Era, Thread Mill Square was the vibrant heart of Willimantic, Connecticut’s Thread City. Factory buildings lined one side of the Square, while the other side was filled with storefronts, mansions, and mill worker tenements. At the Mill Museum, we have recreated Thread Mill Square on the second floor of our main building, as it was at the peak of the Industrial Age in the 1880s, 1890s, and 1900s. Here, you will find rooms from a mill worker family’s row house and a mill manager’s mansion, along with a mill office, a display of antique sewing machines, a weaving studio, and more.
Austin Dunham Hall
The third floor of our main building is Austin Dunham Hall. Founded by the Willimantic Linen Company in 1877 as a lending library for workers and the community at large, and named for Company owner Austin Dunham, today it houses the Museum’s research library and collection of historical artifacts and records. Items no longer circulate, but it is open to the public for study and research.
Diana K. Perkins Gift Shop & Emporium
The first floor of the Museum’s main building, at street level, was once the Willimantic Linen Company Store. Just as shoppers would have done in the 1880s, you enter through the large antique double doors on Main Street, just off our parking lot. Once inside, on your left you will see our long, wooden, 19th-century store counter, where we greet visitors. On your right you will find our gift shop, filled with books, art, music, crafts, tourist items, and historical memorabilia. Restrooms are located just off the gift shop. A wheelchair entrance is nearby; if you think you may need accommodations, we encourage you to contact us before your visit.
Bev York Exhibit Room
THE JONATHAN DUGAN BUILDING
Built originally as a warehouse for the Willimantic Linen Company in 1877, this smaller, less ornate brick building is located across the parking lot from the Museum’s main building. Named for Jonathan Dugan, who donated the Museum’s buildings, its first floor is an appropriate venue for the Dugan Mill, the Museum’s Factory Floor Exhibit. Here you will find mill machinery, some of it restored, along with other artifacts from inside the mills. Enter through the double doors at the top of the handicap ramp.
Dugan Hall, on the second floor of the Jonathan Dugan Building, provides a space for classes, receptions, lectures, workshops, craft sales, fundraisers, and teas. It is accessed from Union Street behind the Museum; just follow the green “frog prints” on the sidewalk.
THE MUSEUM GROUNDS
The Museum’s grounds are maintained by the Windham Garden Club. Stroll around and enjoy beautiful gardens and shady trees. A hundred years ago, elms lined Willimantic’s streets, including Lower Main Street by the mills. Although most of those grand symbols of New England died in the devastating elm blight of the mid-20th century, we have brought one back, planted on the corner of Main and Union Streets, where one had been before. We have also planted a mulberry. Transplanted to Connecticut from Asia in the late 1700s, mulberries provided food for silk worms. The Museum is also a pollinator spot. You can read more about the Museum’s buildings and grounds here.
ACROSS THE STREET: HERITAGE RIVER PARK, GARDEN ON THE BRIDGE, FORMER MILL BUILDINGS, & MORE
Across the street from the Museum are the Heritage River Park, the Garden on the Bridge owned by the Town of Windham and maintained by the Windham Garden Club, several surviving mill buildings of the American Thread Company now owned by private investors, and a row of mansions once owned by mill executives and wealthy Gilded Age entrepreneurs. Although these are not part of the Museum, visitors are welcome to stroll the grounds or picnic in the park or in the gardens on the old stone arch bridge.
The Mill Museum (also known as the Windham Textile and History Museum) is located at 411 Main Street (CT-66), Willimantic, CT, 06226. We are in downtown Willimantic, just two blocks east of the celebrated Frog Bridge, on the north side of the street.
From Providence: West on US-6 to Windham, CT. A quarter mile after the Walmart, bear left onto CT-66. The Museum is about 2 miles ahead on the right.
From Hartford: East on I-84, then exit onto I-384 East (towards Providence). At end of I-384, bear right onto US-6. At intersection with CT-66, continue straight ahead onto CT-66. The Museum is about 5 miles ahead on the left.
From Norwich: North on CT-32 to Willimantic. At intersection of CT-32 and CT-195, turn right onto CT-195, cross the celebrated Frog Bridge, then at the next traffic light, turn right onto CT-66 (Main Street). The Museum is 2 blocks ahead on the left.