The Thread City Crossing Bridge, affectionately known as the Frog Bridge, opened in September 2000 and immediately became one of the most notable features of downtown Willimantic. As required by state and federal law, the construction for the bridge was coordinated with archaeological studies requested by the Connecticut State Historic Preservation Office, in order to mitigate effects on archaeological features that might be disturbed in the course of the project. The area was determined to have sensitivity for historic-period archaeology because this was the location, in the 1820s, of Asa, Seth, and William Jillsonís first cotton mill, one of Willimanticís earliest textile enterprises.
Working for the Connecticut Department of Transportation, archaeologists from PAST, Inc. surveyed and photographed stone walls that marked the foundations of manufacturing buildings and a former company house rented to mill workers, as well as a gatehouse, the headrace, and the remnants of a waterpower turbine. Some of these features were exposed during the course of construction, and others were uncovered as a result of excavations carried out by the archaeologists. In addition to forming the basis for this web site, the data will be permanently archived in the Connecticut Historic Preservation Collection of the Dodd Research Center at the University of Connecticut.
Why frogs on spools ? (in case you were wondering)
How does the project area fit into Willimantic's overall historical development?
Other Willimantic History Resources on the Web
Willimantic History Bibliography.