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November 2, 2010

Thread City and the Frog Bridge

On the way home from the Ivoryton Retreat we always stop at the Quilter's Dream in  Willimantic Connecticut. It's a wonderful shop with a very nice selection of fabrics. This time we let Gladys (gps) lead the way. We found that her way brought us a very scenic and faster route.  Back in the day, Willimantic was known as "Thread City."  I stole  borrowed this from Thread

"For well over 100 years, Willimantic, Connecticut was known worldwide as the Thread City. In 1854 the Willimantic Linen Company started manufacturing high quality three and six cord cotton thread. This was around the same time as the domestic sewing machine was gaining popularity.
The Willimantic Linen Company imported a special raw cotton from the Indian Ocean Islands, known for its natural lubricants and tensile strength -- it didn't snap or become knotted in the sewing machine.
The Willimantic cotton mills were fitted with hundreds of humidifiers to ingeniously recreate the damp atmospheric cotton spinning conditions found in the valleys and dales of Yorkshire and Lancashire. The drier New England air had not been condusive to the efficient spinning of cotton thread. But now America no longer had to import cotton thread from England -- a trade then dominated by Britain's Coats Cotton Company. The Singer Sewing Machine and Willimantic cotton thread made the perfect partnership.
It also host this:

The infamous Frog Bridge

According to folk lore: one night the good citizens of Willimantic heard incredibly loud screeching,  causing many of them to run out into the night with their guns ready to defend themselves from an unnamed menace. The next morning they found scores of dead frogs who had apparently fought to the death over the few remaining puddles resulting from the drought of 1754. Well folks that's the story of Willimantic Connecticut.


Barb said...

What wonderful pictures and info....looks like you had a great time!

Linda Ruthie said...

I knew exactly where you had been. We occasionally go through Willamantic and I always wish we would stop at that cute little quilt shop.
The first time I saw the 'new' bridge, I had to come home and research the story behind the frogs and thread spools. It is certainly unique.

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The frog bridge is wonderful.. Your blog is always fascinating to read. Thanks.

Stray Stitches said...

Those frogs are wonderful - I like the story too. Thanks for sharing your pictures.

corinne said...

Thanks for the great photos. I collect frogs

Melinda Cornish said...

that frog is a riot....I love him!

Val said...

Wow. I loved reading about this. That is so interesting. Now that is a BIG frog!!!

Patty C. said...

The frog bridge is too cool !!

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The lovely frog over the bridge. This nice post