Trees, Trains, and Toys
Saturday, Dec. 26, Wednesday, Dec. 30, and Saturday, Jan. 2
The Mill Museum (Windham Textile and History Museum) teamed up with our good friends at the Connecticut Eastern Railroad Museum to bring “Trees, Trains, and Toys,” a temporary exhibit featuring decorated Christmas trees and working model trains!!!
Several of the “railroad guys” were on hand to demonstrate their model layouts. We will also had a display of classic toys.
For visitors who wanted to see this exhibit only, there was a special low admission of $5 for adults (13 and older), $1 for children (8-12), and free for kids 7 and younger. Proceeds were split between the two museums.
Visitors could also pay the usual Mill Museum admission price ($7 general admission, $5 for students and seniors, children under 5 free) and see the WHOLE museum, including the special “Trees, Trains, and Toys” exhibit.
Check out the cool video!
Mill Museum Receives Vital Grants
The Mill Museum is pleased to announce that it has recently received two small but vital grants.
Along with 46 other greater Willimantic/Windham organizations, the Mill Museum (Windham Textile and History Museum) recently received a grant from the Leo and Rose Pageau Trust. The Trust was formed to provide funds for local charitable and education projects. The Mill Museum’s grant will be used primarily to meet some of the expenses associated with an upcoming exhibit on the Irish experience in Willimantic.
If you look carefully at the attached photo of representatives from all of the recipient organizations, you can find Executive Director Jamie Eves, Educational Director Bev York, Museum President Luzella Roos, Museum Assistant Kit Eves, and Board members Faith Kenton, Sue Humes, Diana Perkins, and Kathy Miller. Thank you, Pageau Trust!!!
The Mill Museum (Windham Textile and History Museum) also has received a grant from the Gordon and Marjorie Osborne Foundation. The late Gordon Osborne was a textile scientist and entrepreneur who did cutting-edge research in micro-fibers, and the Foundation is based in Boston. The grant will be applied to the Museum’s annual operating budget. Thank you, Osborne Foundation!!!
As a small museum without a large endowment fund, the Mill Museum relies on grants like this to stay open and create programs. We are deeply appreciative.
Gettysburg Address Challenge
How good is your memory? Can you memorize ten sentences?
Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address — one of the most important speeches ever given by an American President — is only ten sentences.
On April 18, the Mill Museum joined in the nationwide Gettysburg Address Challenge. We challenged folks of all ages — children, youth, groups, and adults — to recite the Gettysburg Address. Ribbons were awarded to all age categories for memorization, as well as creative expression, costumes, props, etc.
This special event was captured on film. Special thanks to Shane Goodrich for making this available.
Watch it now on YouTube!
2014 Annual Appeal
The Windham Textile & History Museum (the Mill Museum) is conducting its annual appeal. If you have already contributed, thank you very much; we greatly appreciate your support. If you have not yet contributed, please consider doing so. The Museum has incurred some heavy expenses this year. Some (painting the main building) were planned. Others (an unexpected breakdown in our five-year-old sprinkler system) were completely unexpected. We really need your help. Please donate what you can. Every contribution helps.
New Furnace To Be Installed
The good news: The Town of Windham is installing a new, fuel efficient gas furnace in the Museum’s main building. It will replace an old, creaky gas furnace that had been giving trouble, and which was less efficient. The new furnace/boiler will last for years and reduce our energy bills. Yay! (Thanks, Windham. And thanks Joe Gardner, Windham Town Engineer.)
The bad news: The recent snow storm delayed installation. The job should be done by the end of the day Friday, Feb. 6, the day we planned to open for the season. So instead, we plan to open on Saturday, Feb. 7. And don’t be surprised if you see us doing some last-minute cleaning!
(The image on the left is generic, just to give you something pretty to look at. We’ll post a photo of the new furnace on our web site after it is installed.)
The Mill Museum gets a new paint job!
…And YOU helped make it happen!
Mill Museum Quilt Show on the Internet
The Mill Museum celebrates their 25th year with “Inspiration Quilts: Then and Now.” News and blog posts are pouring in!
One of the many talented fiber artists in the show, Norma Schlager, writes about the exhibit in her blog Notes From Norma.
Co-curator for the exhibit, Catherine Whall Smith of Smith Stitch Studios also posts about the WTHM exhibit on her blog as well as the Mansfield Historical Society’s museum show, “Antique and Vintage Quilts.”
And in other media, on June 6, 2014, the Windham Textile and History Museum’s Director Jamie Eves along with with fiber artists Melanie Johnson and Catherine Smith appeared on local radio station WILI 1400 AM. As guests on the Wayne Norman Show, they talked about quilting and a family heirloom quilt Wayne Norman donated to the museum.
To hear the show, please visit the WILI Radio Archives and scroll down to Jun, 06, 2014.
Have you read or heard reviews and stories or have written about the Mill Museum? Please tell us!!! Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local artist A. N. Wyeth has painted a new watercolor of the historic Willimantic Falls mill site, depicting the old stone flood gate that once controlled water flow from the Willimantic River into the head race for the old Number Three Mill, demolished in the 1920s.
We also have for sale prints of two of Andy’s other watercolors, “American Thread Mills” and “Millgirl at No. 4”.
Prints are $50 each. They are only available from the Windham Textile and History Museum. These prints are available at The Mill Museum Gift Shop as well.
To order your Wyeth Prints, please download the order form here…
PAINT THE MUSEUM UPDATE!
The Windham Textile and History Museum is halfway to its Paint The Museum fund-raising goal. The money raised so far is $13,480.42, with about $1,500 more in outstanding pledges. Keep your eye on our main building at 411 Main St – it will be showing some new colors starting this summer.
Museum members and supporters have worked on a Backyard Block Party featuring Willimantic’s Main Street glory days of the 60’s, the Holiday Gift Wrap at the East Brook Mall, and the Snow Ball in the Bellingham Ballroom. In addition, Main St Café has chosen the Museum as its monthly Fill-anthropic fundraiser. And there will be available in May a print of the latest Andy Wyeth painting, “Floodgate at Old No 3 on the Willimantic River”.
The Museum much appreciates all its support from residents and businesses. If you wish to contribute to the Paint The Museum fund, the museum will happily accept donations in any amount mailed to WTHM, 411 Main St. Willimantic, CT. 06226. Our grand Victorian building needs a makeover.
The Mill Museum on the air!
On January 20, 2014, the Windham Textile and History Museum’s Director Jamie Eves and Board member Pam Horrocks appeared on local radio station WILI 1400 AM. As guests on the Wayne Norman Show, they talked about activities at the Mill Museum and the upcoming 8th Annual Snow Ball.
To hear the show, please visit the WILI Radio Archives and scroll down to Jan. 20, 2014.
The Annual Holiday Gift Wrapping Fundraiser at the East Brook Mall breaks records!
Woo Hoo! The Mill Museum‘s annual holiday gift wrapping fundraiser — where volunteers for the Museum wrap gifts at the East Brook Mall in Willimantic/Mansfield, CT, for donations — did the best it has EVER done. We grossed $4,086.10 (not counting the pennies — which we tally at the machine at the Savings Institute), a new record!
Our expenses were $240.74, which gives us a net of $3,845.36, also a record! We want to thanks all kinds of people. First of all, we need to thank Kit Eves, who organized the fundraiser. She did a fantastic job!! Kit does all sorts of volunteer work in the community behind the scenes, and it’s about time she got a shout out.
We also want to thank the East Brook Mall, for donating the space, and Kohl’s and Payless for donating boxes. Sue Williams and her staff at the Mall were great to work with, as usual. We want to thank the Interfaith Sewing and Service Group for lending us their table risers, and for supplying a number of our volunteer wrappers. This is a great group that does not get the credit it deserves for all the good work it does in the community. We also want to thank the Willimantic Irish Club, the Willimantic Lions, and the Willimantic Victorian Neighborhood Association for supplying volunteers. We also want to thank employees from Douglas Manor nursing home, who also volunteered.
We can’t name all the volunteer wrappers, because people showed up to help that we didn’t even know, including family members of other wrappers. But our volunteer wrappers included: Karyn Eves, Luzella Roos, Maureen Davis, Winnie Chase, Olive McCabe, Carolyn Stanich, Sue Schmerl, Linda Hence, Shirley Mustard, Susan Lorenzo, Jamie Eves, Jean de Smet, Nicholas Khan, Ruth Hartunian-Alumbaugh, John Sienna, Pamela De Vivo, Lion Gayla, Becky McEnery and her friends, Cheryl, Priscilla Williamson, Kathie Osthus, JoAnne R., Lynn Duval, Virginia Siege, Jessica, Susan Lund, Julie Menard, Jed Lane, Emma Lane, Pam Horrocks, Ellen Bell, Bev York, Phyllis Meshanic, Terry LaVoie, Carol Killeen, Jane Brennan, Linda Miles, Deb Stoloff, Angela from Liberty Bank, Orlando, Laura, Sandy Rosado, Amanda Wright, Phyllis Syres, Brenda, Pam Shooks, Leslie, Claire Lary, Kay Warren, Faith Kenton, Steve Kenton, Ramana, Anne Marie Campbell, Elaine Clark, Kristen Krause, and Mary McCarthy.
If we have missed anyone, it’s either because the person typing this report couldn’t read Kit’s handwriting, or we somehow missed getting your name written down — in any case, we apologize wholeheartedly. All of you are the best friends a museum ever had!!
WTHM @ ASCH Conference – “300 Years in Connecticut’s Quiet Corner”
Museum Executive Director Jamie Eves, along with Museum Board of Directors member Dr. Anna Kirchmann, presented papers at the Association for the Study of Connecticut History’s fall conference on Saturday, Nov. 2, at The Pomfret School in Pomfret, CT.
Dr. Kirchmann spoke about a series of textile strikes in Willimantic in 1912, while Dr. Eves spoke about the 1925 American Thread Company strike.
The Long Timers Backyard Block Party a success!
Thank you to Edith Prague, Susan Johnson, and the Eastern Connecticut State University Foundation for making the Longtimers back yard Block party in September such a success. The event raised more than $3,000 for the Paint the Museum Fund. Special thanks goes to State Senator Susan Johnson who graciously loaned her backyard in Willimantic for the gathering.
On Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013, the Windham Textile and History Museum sponsored the Long Timers Backyard Block Party, in honor of retiring State Senator Edith Prague, whose husband was a long-time Willimantic businessman — and to observe the 25th anniversary of the Museum.
The block party was also a successful fund-raiser for the Windham Textile and History Museum, which is currently raising money for a new paint job.
Read more about it at the Reminder News!
Museum Kicks Off Campaign to Raise Money to Paint Main Building
The Windham Textile & History Museum, also known as the Mill Museum, will be celebrating 25 years next year! During that time there have been so many improvements in educational programs, exhibits, community collaborations, and preservation at the museum. Please come and visit and see our progress.
Currently, our main building, Dunham Hall, is desperately in need of painting. The museum board has begun a capital campaign to raise funds necessary to transform the exterior of this architecturally distinct building into a showpiece.
It is my hope that the community will be generous and help us raise the money. We also need some volunteer labor to wash mildew. There have been so many wonderful members, volunteers, board members, donors, and visitors involved through the years. I appreciate all the community has done to help the museum. We want to celebrate our 25th in style!
— Bev York
The Connecticut Main Street Center has awarded Harrison Judd and his partners — the Windham Textile & History Museum, Thread City Development, Inc., Eastern Connecticut State University, the Town of Windham, TBS Properties, the Windham Regional Chamber of Commerce, and ArtSpace Windham Gallery its 2013 Award of Excellence for Historic Preservation for the terrific photo exhibit, End of an Era: Past Identity / Future Vision and the Portrait Project.
The center of the exhibit, of course, were Harrison Judd’s wonderful photographs of the old Willimantic Linen Company / American Thread Company smokestack, a long-time icon of the Industrial Revolution in northeast Connecticut until it was demolished in 2011. The Museum’s role was provided historical information about the smokestack and the use of steam power in the textile mills, in the form of an essay in the exhibit catalog, along with a power point slide presentation.
The Museum has copies of the exhibit catalog for sale in its gift shop, for anyone wanting color copies of Harrison’s terrific and historic photos. The exhibit was a real community effort, and the Museum is proud to have played a part. Congratulations to Harrison for his fine work!
The award ceremony took place on Monday, June 10th, at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, CT.
The Mill Museum Gets a New Paint Job
Dear Members and Friends of the Windham Textile and History Museum:
We have exciting news….
The Museum’s main building — sometimes known as Dunham Hall — might get painted! And in Victorian colors, too!!
The Town of Windham, which owns the building, is considering including $50,000 for painting the building in its $500,000 Main Street Initiative Fund grant request to the State of Connecticut. The fund is designed to revitalize Main Streets in towns across Connecticut. The building was last painted in 1989, and the old paint is peeling badly. In addition, the old colors — gray and white — do not accentuate the building’s Victorian Era features. The new color scheme (should the proposal be accepted by both the Town of Windham and the State of Connecticut) would be much more true to the types of color schemes used for the “painted ladies” of the late 1800s.
The Museum’s Board of Directors has strongly endorsed the idea of including the Museum in the Main Street grant, along with facade improvements to other Willimantic buildings. Although as a Town-owned building (the Museum leases the building from the Town of Windham), no matching money would be required, the Board has nevertheless pledged the Museum to cover 10% of the cost, up to $5,000. This is a significant commitment for the Museum, and is indicative of the importance of the proposal.
But this is not a done deal. If you support the idea of Windham applying for MSIF funds to paint the Museum, and you live in Windham, please talk to town officials and let them know you like idea.
Textile Museum Receives $5K Education Grant
The Windham Textile and History Museum has received a $5K grant from Mary Lou DeVivo, president of Willimantic Waste Paper Co., for its education programs, especially those focused on children in Windham and surrounding communities.
“She’s been a major supporter of education programs and literacy in town,” said Steve Kenton, grants director of the museum. “The museum is very excited,” said Kenton. “Every nonprofit is meeting difficulty in raising funds. We have to support the building and when a nonprofit gets money it’s great to be able to support programs that are central to your mission.”
Jamie Eves, the museum’s executive director, adds that “the museum has a “Kids Club” where children are able to come into the museum and enjoy projects such as color dying and weaving,” adding that “the donation will help offset the cost of putting on these programs.”
Bev York, the museum’s education director, is preparing new programs with the grant for every third grader in Windham. “It will be a mock Ellis Island program just for kids,” said Eves. “Without donations such programs likely wouldn’t happen. The donation, for which we are enormously grateful to Mrs. DeVivo, allows us to continue to do those things that otherwise we wouldn’t be able to do.”
Windham Textile and History Museum