Thursday, July 26, 2018
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Fort Trumbull State Park
At their July meeting, The Friends of Fort Trumbull State Park to discuss the Willimantic Mill Museum
The Friends of Fort Trumbull State Park are pleased to welcome, on Thursday, July 26, 2018, at 7 p.m. at the Fort Trumbull Conference Center, the fourth speaker in their series- “Musings on Museums-The Memory Keepers”. This speaker, Jamie H. Eves, Ph.D., is the Executive Director of the Mill Museum in Willimantic, CT.
In 1985, the American Thread Company, the mill that had provided jobs in the Willimantic region for 150 years, closed its doors forever. To insure that the history of this textile industry would not be lost, the residents of Willimantic and neighboring communities, worked to establish the Windham Textile and History Museum. In two donated mill buildings, now housing a museum, library, and an archive, they assembled the memorabilia that would tell the story of this now defunct company. They assembled machinery and tools, photos and narratives to tell the story of the rise and fall of the Connecticut textile industry and the people whose way of life had now been lost.
Perhaps, the most poignant aspect of the museum is the stories of the people who had worked there, generation after generation. These stories included immigrants and native born workers, managers, and especially women and children. When the massive plant closed in 1985, the craftspeople and industrial workers struggled to find a way forward.
The museum is able to focus attention on the lives of the workers while they were employed in this gigantic undertaking and also after they were unemployed, as their livelihoods vanished. The owners and managers moved away; the workers remained.
Doctor Eves became the Executive Director of the Mill Museum in 2011. He has a B.A. and M.A. in History from the University of Maine and a Ph.D. in History from the University of Connecticut. One of his research fields is the history of New England. He is also an adjunct faculty member at Eastern Connecticut State University and the University of Connecticut. Mr. Eves has said,” It is vital to know where we’ve been… A house is built on a foundation; history is the foundation for tomorrow”.
The Museum is open from February through December, Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. They are located at 411 Main Street, Willimantic, CT 06226. Website: http://www.millmuseum.org/
The public is welcome to attend this free presentation at 7 p.m. at the Fort Trumbull State Park Conference Center. New members are always welcome. Come early as seating is limited. More information about the Fort and the Friends of Fort Trumbull is available at www.fortfriends.org and on Facebook at Friends of Fort Trumbull State Park.