Jillson Mills Article

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Willimantic Linen Company Mill Complex
Jillson Mills, Willimantic, CT.jpg
The mills in 2018.
Jillson Mills is located in Connecticut
Jillson Mills
Location within Connecticut
Alternative namesJillson Mills, American Thread Company Willimantic Mills
Ring spinning
Architectural styleMixed usage
Structural system Stone
Serving railway New York and New England Railroad
OwnerJillson Brothers
Further ownership
  • Willimantic Linen Company (1854)
  • American Thread Company (1898)
Coordinates 41°42′40″N 72°12′16″W / 41.7110°N 72.2045°W / 41.7110; -72.2045
JILLSON MILLS Latitude and Longitude:

41°42′40″N 72°12′16″W / 41.7110°N 72.2045°W / 41.7110; -72.2045
BuiltFirst Building: 1824, Current Building: 1880/1910
DemolishedMill #03, 1990's; Chimney, 2012-2014; Mill #4, 1995 (fire)
Floor count5
Floor area221,000 square feet (20,500 m2)
American Thread Company
ArchitectMarston, Phineas F.
MPSEastern Connecticut Mills MPS
NRHP reference # 14000434
Added to NRHPJuly 30, 2014

The Jillson Mills (Officially known as the Willimantic Linen Company Mill Complex) is a mill complex in Willimantic, Connecticut. The mills produced cotton thread throughout the lifespan of the operation of the mill. [1]


The main mill in the 1912
The Garden on the Bridge.

The mill was first built in 1824 in the same style as the current one by William Asa and Seth Jillson. In 1854 the old mill was purchased by investors from Hartford. They ended up forming the Willimantic Linen Company, even though they never produced linen. [2] The company ended up rebuilding the mill in 1880 to near its current state. The last mill built on the complex was built in 1910. [3] The mill ended up under control by the American Thread Company in 1898 due to the merger of the previous ownership of the mill. [2] The mill was closed in 1985 due to the company moving operations to the South. [4]

Current Status

Mill #4 burned down in 1995 due to a fire caused by local children. [5] [6] The wooden swing bridge connecting the mills was closed permanently shortly thereafter. [7] The mills lay dormant until the former grounds started to be purchased for commercial and residential purposes. ArtSpace currently has its Windham apartments located in this complex. [8] The old chimney was demolished between 2012-2014. [9]

Garden on the Bridge

The Garden on the Bridge is located in the complex of the former mills. It is a stone arch bridge built in 1857, that formerly was used for automobile until the Frog Bridge was opened in 2000. [10] It is currently a pedestrian bridge with flora all over, giving the bridge a natural look. [11] The bridge was temporarily closed until 2006 when it was reopened for its current purpose. [12]

National Register of Historic Places

The complex was added to the National Register of Historic Places on July 30, 2014 along with other historic mills across the section of the state. [13] This makes it the one of 22 on the list in the town of Windham. [14]

See also


  1. ^ "History | Windham Textile & History Museum". www.millmuseum.org. Retrieved 2016-11-02.
  2. ^ a b "History of Willimantic". www.past-inc.org. Retrieved 2016-11-02.
  3. ^ "A brief history of Windham/Willimantic". www.windhamct.com. Retrieved 2016-11-02.
  4. ^ Transportation, Department of. "ConnDOT: overall_history". www.ct.gov. Retrieved 2016-11-02.
  5. ^ "Fire Destroys Historic Mill At Former American Thread". tribunedigital-thecourant. Retrieved 2016-11-02.
  6. ^ ringkp (2009-04-21), Willimantic Thread Mill4, retrieved 2016-11-02
  7. ^ "Willimantic Sidewalks Ramble". www.willimanticriver.org. Retrieved 2016-11-11.
  8. ^ "Apartments in Willimantic For Rent | ArtSpace Windham". Artspace Windham. Retrieved 2016-11-02.
  9. ^ "Willimantic and the Geography of Despair". Train's-Eye View. Retrieved 2016-11-02.
  10. ^ Oglesby, Scott. "The Frog Bridge (Thread City Crossing)". www.kurumi.com. Retrieved 2016-11-02.
  11. ^ "Windham Garden on the Bridge - Willimantic, CT". www.willimanticriver.org. Retrieved 2016-11-02.
  12. ^ "Windham Garden on the Bridge - Willimantic Victorian Neighborhood Association". www.victorianwillimantic.org. Retrieved 2016-11-02.
  13. ^ "Weekly List - National Register of Historic Places Official Website--Part of the National Park Service". www.nps.gov. Retrieved 2016-11-02.
  14. ^ "AssetDetail". focus.nps.gov. Retrieved 2016-11-02.

External links