HomeAbout Digital Windham

About Digital Windham

Welcome to Digital Windham!

This website is dedicated to the history of the township of Windham, Connecticut, and to the history of its main town, Willimantic, in particular. Windham is located on the lands which belonged to the Nipmuc and Mohegan tribes. The land was eventually acquired by English settlers through a transaction with Uncas, the son of the Mohegan's Sachem in the mid-1670s ("Joshua's Will"). In 1692, Windham became a town. Since the early 1800s, Willimantic grew to become its urban center, and one of the most important manufacturing centers for textiles, specifically silk and cotton thread, produced by the waves of immigrant workers who settled in town. Digital Windham seeks to provide insight into every aspect of the history of the town and its people throughout the centuries.

Willimantic, CT 1882 from Blake (Hosmer) Mountain

Digital Windham is the brainchild of Drs. Anna Kirchmann and Jamel Ostwald, both professors of History at Eastern Connecticut State University; it has been made possible by an anonymous donor and by support from the Eastern community. This ongoing project gives students hands-on practice in researching, writing, and creating digital resources for local history. Different students and classes contribute specific materials to the larger project, and receive practical experience in historical research, and using digital tools for public history - see Contributors for an overview by semester, and the individual exhibits and items for individual attribution. We also hope that the site will be of interest to the members of the general public, not only for its historical narratives, but for the information on the town itself.

Digital Windham's exhibits and item collection rely upon the many resources available on the history of the town. These sources include digital (and digitizible) artifacts donated by the public, publications available online and in various libraries, and especially the town's rich archival and reference documents available in Eastern's Center for Connecticut Studies, held on the 4th floor of Eastern's J. Eugene Smith Library.

If you are interested in contributing to the project, you can contact Dr. Ostwald.

Using This Site

For advice on how to navigate this site, hover over the 'About Digital Windham' tab at the top of this page and choose 'How To Use This Site.' You can access the database items, the various exhibits, and larger meta-exhibits such as 1910 Willimantic by using the tabs at the top of the page.

Land Acknowledgment

We want to acknowledge that the Windham and Willimantic area of eastern Connecticut is located on the traditional land of Nipmucs and Mohegans, the Native people who stewarded it for generations. We remember their connection to this region and respect their history.