Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Frog Bridge

Willimantic, CT

Crossing the Willimantic River, in Willimantic, CT is the famous Frog Bridge, also known as the Thread City Crossing.  It connects state routes 66 and 32 and is famous for the theses sculptures of frogs sitting atop spools adorning either end of the bridge.  The spools are in honor of the rich history of the textile industry, which was once the major industry in this town.  The American Thread Co. was located here and at one time operated the largest thread mill in the world here.  The frogs, however have a much more colorful history.

Apparently back in 1754, the residents of the town of Windham, which now contains the area of Willimantic, were awakened by a god-awful sound on a hot summer's night.  Fearing the worst, they all grabbed their muskets and prepared to defend their town against whatever threat might befall them.  It was only after the sun arose the next morning that the town's people realized the sounds came from a nearby pond which was surrounded by carcasses of dead frogs.  The frogs had fought to the death the previous evening over a rapidly-drying pond.  Needless to say the residents became the subject of ridicule  in the ensuing years.  Today, the event, now referred to as the "Battle of the Frogs",  is forever memorialized with these frogs.  They look kind of creepy to me, especially at night when the ambient light of street lamps and traffic lights reflect off the eyes of these frogs, imparting an eerie glow.   


  1. You beat me to it. I have thought about taking photos of the frog bridge, but I haven't gotten around to it. And, I didn't know the explanation. Thanks for providing it.

  2. Ed, these are wonderful photos and stories about this highly unique bridge. Good to know about the "battle of the frogs." Is there no thread manufacture there any more?

    1. No, unfortunately. I think all the manufacturing moved south, as did a number of textile manufacturing jobs did from this part of the country. The mills remain. Some are being renovated, but many have been left to the elements.

  3. I need to go back to Willimantic. The town is typical of many industrial towns/cities in New England which have lost their manufacturing jobs to other places. Willimantic is re-purposing it's old mills and there are many other great photo ops up there. I would have like to have seen some of these old manufacturing mills back in their day. Thanks for looking!

  4. Hm, not creepy. Really interesting sculptures I think - not the usual.
    I like them.
    Of course, I haven't seen them at night.