Spend a Day or Two in the Victorian Era.
The city known for its frog accents and the nickname “Thread City” also has some of the most beautiful Victorian architecture in the state. Every year, during a June weekend, some of those most beautiful homes are open to visitors during Victorian Days in Willimantic. 2010′s days are June 3, 4, 5 and 6. Cemetery and garden tours, trolley rides, and lantern tours of Windham Center (I heard there’s a ghost prowling around here, so keep your eyes open) are also part of the annual event. While the tours require you to purchase a ticket, it’s well worth it – you’ll get a glimpse of some of the most beautiful homes in the Prospect Hill Historic District. Here is the tour outline.
The area, which includes about 800 vintage homes, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is one of the largest historical districts in the state. The homes you’ll see there are elegant, stately, and classic New England. There are also schools, churches and a firehouse.
A fun addition to the event is the Victorian High Teas, which will be hosted this year at the Windham Textile & History Museum. You’ll also get to see a bagpipe promenade and a brass band concert, take a guided mill tour and see the role the town played in the industrial era while visiting the Museum.
My favorite is the tour of the Old Willimantic Cemetery. I find cemeteries fascinating, and this one is large and beautiful and full of old stones and years of history. You can also see the famous Thread City Frog Bridge – the kids will love it!
More info can be found on the Willimantic Victorian Neighborhood Association website.