Windham Textile History Museum

For almost 130 years, this building has stood on the corner of Union and Main Streets. Down the road are the rows of houses built to accommodate the workers. If you were a foreman, you could live further up in town away from the common workers. If you were an owner or manager, you lived in the “hill section” (still called that today). The mills were worked by the immigrants who came to the area to try and make a better living for themselves and their families. Times were hard, and the work was even harder and more dangerous. The lighting was poor, the air choked with lint, it was cold in the winter and hot in the summer, and 12- to 14-hour days were the norm, even for the children. It was a hard way to make a living, but it was a job, and people flocked to Willimantic from all over to work at the mill. The company was clever. By paying their workers with the company’s own currency script, they were able to retain more profits because employees used the script to buy goods back from the company. Employees could buy everything they needed at the company store, from beef in the butcher section to bonnets and hats in the millinery section. A vault was installed to secure the script and other company money as a bank. The company also had its own warehouses, stables, a theater, and a fire department. The store was a place where the neighborhood came to shop, and there were thousands of people who went through its doors. Left behind were the energies of happiness for being able to provide for one’s family with food and shelter, but also some disappointments of being unable to shop anywhere else in town, and the loss of individuality. The museum still retains these energies through its wonderful exhibits and programs. There is a gift shop where friends come to share stories and history. There have been some strange occurrences in the building. When moving into the building to begin its use as a museum, the vault was discovered closed and locked and the combination could not be found anywhere. The next day, without human intervention, the vault was found open. There are cold spots when viewing some of the artifacts. There have been noises heard coming from the third floor, which used to house a library for the workers. No one has been up there in a very long time. New England 25 The second floor also has a strange feeling, almost as if you’re being watched. If you visit the museum, be sure to bring your camera! —Nancy Washell Co-Director, Maine’s Paranormal Research Association

WINDHAM TEXTILE AND HISTORY MUSEUM 157 UNION STREET WILLIMANTIC, CONNECTICUT 06226 TEL: 1 (860) 456-2178 WEBSITE:

www.millmuseum.org Taken from the: Encyclopedia of Haunted Places -Ghostly Locales from around the World – Compiled & Edited by Jeff Belanger – Copyright 2005 by Jeff Belanger 

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This post was last modified on Jun 24, 2019 @ 09:31

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