NOTICE: Due to the Coronavirus / COVID-19 Crisis, the Mill Museum remains closed for its regular indoor individual tours, programs, and events. But that doesn't mean that history has stopped. Scroll down to see what we do have going on.

To Our Nightmare Friends
The crew of Nightmare on Main is hard at work preparing for this year’s event, Monsters – Beware Amid the current uncertainty about public gatherings, we’re approaching Nightmare with the expectation that by October 2020 we will be able to present a safe and entertaining show. This year’s event will be held across the street from us at the
magnificent Windham Mills. We’ve been given exclusive access to a vast section of the second floor, which is presently empty. By moving our event there, we will be able to comply with all relevant state guidelines to ensure the health and safety of our guests as well as our crew. We’ll keep you posted on our progress.

Other Cool Stuff Going On

Although the Mill Museum (Windham Textile and History Museum) remains TEMPORARILY CLOSED for many of our normal activities, you can still reach us via email at themillmuseum@gmail.com, or by telephone at (860) 617-4354, which is our Executive Director’s cell phone. We will continue to reevaluate the situation, and will update the following guide as things change.

As of Sept. 5, 2020:

* Virtual tours, exhibits, and other great stuff online: OPEN. We will continue to bring you history on out website and through social media. We continue to add new material daily. Click on the green buttons above for shortcuts to favorite new postings. Or go exploring under “History” in the menu at the top of this page. Or visit us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/WindhamTextileandHistoryMuseum/ (@WindhamTextileandHistoryMuseum for those of you on FB).

*Research and consultation online: OPEN. Have questions about mill or textile history? Want to talk to a staff member? Our staff and volunteers are available, either in the Museum or (for most of us) working from home. Contact us via email at themillmuseum@gmail.com or by telephone at (860) 617-4354. (The phone number is our Executive Director’s cell phone.)

*Accepting donations of artifacts for our collection: OPEN. For folks wanting to donate items for the Museum’s collection, email us at themillmuseum@gmail.com. We will arrange to meet you safely outdoors in our parking lot. Our staff will be wearing masks. We will complete necessary paperwork via email.

*Volunteer activities at the Museum: OPEN. The Museum is open on a limited basis for staff and volunteers working on various projects. We will be practicing safe social distancing, and providing PPE following Connecticut State Guidelines for office environments. Staff and volunteers planning to come into the Museum should contact Jamie Eves, Executive Director, at themillmuseum@gmail.com or (860) 617-4354.

*Outdoor group tours: OPEN. On Labor Day, Monday, Sep. 7, at 5:00 p.m., the Mill Museum will host its annual outdoor Labor Day strike reenactment. We will be reenacting the Oahu Sugar Strike of 1920. Bring homemade strike signs, dress as farm workers (optional), cloth masks and social distancing are required. The Setting: 1920, Oahu, Hawaii. The Players: The Maui Sugar Corp, 8,300 multiracial workers, and labor unions. The Story Line: Living expenses had gone up but wages had not. Workers were destitute. They demanded a pay increase of $.77 to $1.25 daily wages for males, and $. 58 to .90 daily wages for females. One dollar in 1920 is valued at $13.00 in 2020. This will be a safe, outdoor, socially distanced reenactment. Meet outside the Mill Museum, 411 Main Street, Willimantic, CT, 06226. Parking is available in front of the Windham Mills across the street. (Image below is from last year’s strike reenactment.)

*Indoor group tours: Although we are CLOSED for normal tours, we will be OPEN for special Hallowe’en tours coming up in October: “Nightmare on Main: Monsters.” Click here for more information.

*Indoor individual tours: CLOSED.

*Indoor events and programs: CLOSED.

*Gift Shop: ON LINE ORDERS ONLY.

The Museum’s current temporary exhibit, “Unlacing the Corset, Unleashing the Vote,” originally scheduled to end in September of 2020, has been extended through the end of June, 2021. When we reopen, it will be here for you to see.

Our history belongs to us, not to a virus, and the Mill Museum will do its best to bring it to you. We look forward to seeing all of you when we come out of this.

First Place in the Children Under 10 – It’s a tie!

Emma - Age 4
Helena - Age 6

First Place Youth, 10 to 18 – It’s another tie!

Anna - 12
Faith - 15

First and Second Place Adult – 18+

First Place - Pat
Second Place - Luzella

Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020 through Sunday, June 27, 2021

Special Exhibit: Unlacing the Corset, Unleashing the Vote

On Susan B. Anthony’s birthday, we open a new special exhibit celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment — the Susan B. Anthony Amendment — that provided woman suffrage in every state, including Connecticut. With political empowerment came social and culture changes, including less restrictive fashions and garments, illustrated in the exhibit by mannequins dressed in vintage clothing. The exhibit covers all of Connecticut, but places special emphasis on the mill towns of eastern Connecticut. The exhibit is closed now, but when we reopen, it will be waiting for you.

The Following Activities Have Been Postponed:

Sunday, March 22

Museum Lyceum

Beverly L. York, the Mill Museum’s Educational Director, presents an illustrated  talk, “Yellow Roses: Voices of Women’s Suffrage.” 4:00 p.m. $5.00 suggested donation.

Saturday, March 28

Mill Museum Spinning Bee

On the fourth Saturday of each month the Mill Museum Spinners gather for an old-fashioned spinning bee. Experienced and novice spinners are welcome. Bring your wheel and enjoy cameraderie and good times. Host Peggy Church provides instruction. The public is welcome to drop in. In the Kenton Room in the Museum’s Dugan Mill Building. 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.

Saturday, April 4

Kids’ Club

2:00-3:30 p.m. The Museum has a periodic Kids Club, with activities just for kids. Led by Educational Director Bev York.

Friday, April 24

Concert

Bill Dougal visits the Mill Museum with his musical performance, “Mill-Made Serenade: New Songs About Old Willimantic & New England Mill Culture.” Learn about the Industrial Revolution in Connecticut towns like Willimantic, as Bill Dougal croons to vintage 78 recordings. 7:00 p.m. No admission charge, but we will put out a donation jar.

Saturday, April 25

Mill Museum Spinning Bee

On the fourth Saturday of each month the Mill Museum Spinners gather for an old-fashioned spinning bee. Experienced and novice spinners are welcome. Bring your wheel and enjoy cameraderie and good times. Host Peggy Church provides instruction. The public is welcome to drop in. In the Kenton Room in the Museum’s Dugan Mill Building. 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.

Sunday, April 26

Museum Lyceum

Cassandra Peltier, the Director of the Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum in Adams, MA, comes to Willimantic to give a presentation on “All Work and no Play: Learning About Willimantic Women’s History Through Textiles.” She combines a general conversation about using fabric and handmade items to learn about women’s everyday lives, a discussion of women’s experiences in mills more generally, and the 1925 American Thread Company strike in Willimantic. 4:00 p.m. $5.00 suggested donation.