discovered in a dried-up millpond, two miles east of the village center. They had fought to the death in futile attempts to find moisture in the drought-ridden pond. Windham became forever known as the scene of the "Battle of the Frogs."
Between 1822 and 1857 five major cotton mills were built along the banks of Windham's fast-flowing Willimantic River. In 1833 several small mill communities combined to form the industrial borough of Willimantic. The largest of those companies, Willimantic Linen (1854-1898), and its successor, American Cotton Thread (1898-1985) manufactured high quality cotton thread, and Willimantic became known worldwide as the Thread City. Several major silk manufacturers also operated in the borough after the Civil War. Cotton and silk spools thus accompany frogs as historic symbols of Windham.
In 1857 the Willimantic Linen Company built a large cotton mill and bridge constructed from gneiss stone mined from the bed of the Willimantic River. The Windham Road Bridge is located 200 yards to the east of this bridge.
The borough expanded rapidly after the Civil War and as early as 1872 plans were drawn up to build a new highway bridge across the Willimantic River. To connect the borough's southern suburbs to its commercial center. But vigorous opposition thwarted all attempts to build this new bridge. In 1903 the
trolley car exposed the old stone bridge's limitations, and in 1904 a project was launched to build a new highway bridge some 600 yard to the west. That scheme was also energetically opposed and the Willimantic footbridge exists as a 1906 compromise between pro and anti highway bridge forces. State Representative John Lescoe, first submitted a request for the funding of this bridge in 1986, and ground breaking eventually took place April 6, 1999. It has taken more than a century to become a reality, but welcome to Thread City Crossing. Thomas R. Beardsley Windham Municipal Historian