is a census-designated place and city located in the town of Windham, Connecticut in Windham County, Connecticut, United States. The population was estimated at 16,506 in 2005 and 15,823 at the 2000 census. It is home to Eastern Connecticut State University, as well as the Windham Textile and History Museum. The city was incorporated in 1893 as a section of the town of Windham. The city government was dissolved in 1983 with the area reverting back to the town. It is also the birthplace of U.S Senator Christopher Dodd of Connecticut.
Willimantic is best known for its legend,"The Battle of Frog Pond" . It was an incident in 1754 around the time of the French and Indian War. The citizens of Windham (Willimantic is located in Windham) were awakened in the middle of the night by a tremendously frightening racket just outside of town. Assuming the worst, they seized their arms and prepared for the impending Indian attack. When morning arrived, the armed villagers marched in the direction of the noise only to discover that the nearby pond had dried up, and the area was littered with hundreds of dead bullfrogs. The frogs that still lived were heading to the Willimantic River in search of water. Thus, the fearsome sounds that had plagued the citizenry the previous night had not been Indians but rather bullfrogs “fighting” for water. The pond was renamed Frog Pond, the story spread throughout the towns and colonies, and the legend was born. To commemorate the incident, the town has erected a Frog Bridge featuring giant frog sculptures atop spools of thread. The thread spools are included in the bridge's design because Willimantic was once known as “Thread City.” The American Thread Company had a mill on the banks of the Willimantic River, and was at one time the largest employer in the state as well as one of the largest producers of thread in the world.
Willimantic's history is also found in its Victorian Era architecture. According to"The Willimantic Victorian Neighborhood Association" a 40-block area, commonly referred to as “The Hill Section”, boasts more than 800 vintage homes/buildings and has been listed by the U.S. Department of the Interior on the National Register of Historic Places. Of the district’s 993 buildings, a remarkable 88% contribute to its overall historic architectural character. The vast majority of houses in the district were built after the Civil War when most of the streets were laid out for residential development. The district was substantially complete by 1910, the end of the Victorian era. As a result, Victorian architecture predominates in the district, with all the major styles of the period represented. According to representatives from the State Historical Commission, the 40-block area constitutes one of the largest historic districts in the state.