The James Reid House, at 88 Windham Road in Willimantic, was built in 1879-1880 by the Willimantic Linen Company for its chemist and dye master, James M. Reid. It stands next to the home of Eugene S. Boss, the company’s manager. After 1960, the Reid house was home to the Hallahan and Cardinal funeral home (pdf).
Dwight E. Potter (1840-1911) was a carpenter and builder based in Willimantic. As head carpenter for the Willimantic Linen Company, he designed and constructed mill buildings, an office building and worker housing and was superintendent of all outside work. He also helped to build the Loomer Opera House on Main Street and ran a woodworking shop that produced interior and exterior architectural millwork for Willimantic’s Victorian-era houses. Potter was chief of Willimantic’s fire department from 1873 to 1880. In 1881, Potter and his first wife, Mary Ann Hazen, moved into a house he had designed and erected at 76 Windham Road. The house is now home to the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church.
The house at 290 Prospect Street in Willimantic was built in 1888 for Samuel E. Amidon, a successful grocery store owner. After Amidon’s death, the house had other owners. In 1984 it was purchased by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Norwich. Called Newman Hall, it is now the Catholic Office of Campus Ministry for members of the Eastern Connecticut State University community. According to the Commemorative Biographical Record of Tolland and Windham Counties (1903):
The Windham Inn is a notable landmark in Windham Center, at the intersection of Scotland Road and Windham Center Road, near Windham Green. Known as the Windham House prior to 1890, the building was constructed in 1783 and was originally three stories. It began to buckle around 1850 and was then reduced to two stories. The three dormer windows were added around the same time. Also added at some point was a front porch, later removed. The Inn, which is believed to be haunted, was converted into apartments in the mid-twentieth century. The inn sign from the 1890s is in the collection of the Connecticut Historical Society.
Windham Free Library, on the Green in Windham Center, was originally built, on the former site of the county court house, as the Windham Bank in 1832. The bank moved its operations to Willimantic in 1879 and other commercial establishments soon followed, as Windham Center changed from being a business district into a primarily residential area. The Greek Revival building then stood vacant until it was converted into a museum, displaying a temporary “Exhibition of Relics,” on the occasion of Windham’s bi-centennial, celebrated in 1892. Now it serves as Connecticut’s smallest freestanding library. Established in 1897, the Library displays historical artifacts, including the Windham Bacchus, carved out of wood by British prisoners of war, one of whom was a ship’s carpenter, who were being held in the Windham jail in 1776. They carved the Figure of Bacchus as a parting gift, at the time of their escape, for their widowed landlady, who was also a tavern keeper.
Located on Windham Center Green and owned by the adjacent Windham Library is the small gambrel-roofed former office of Dr. Chester Hunt. Built in 1790, it originally served as the office of Sheriff Shubel Abbe and was located behind his house at the south end of Windham Green. Abbe’s property was purchased in 1819 by Dr. Chester Hunt who then used the office until his death in 1869. Moved in 1948 to a spot between two other houses on North Road, the building was moved again in the 1980s to its current location where it was restored in honor of Julian Alden Weir and his wife, Ella Baker Weir, by his daughter, Cora Weir Burlingham and grandson, Charles Burlingham, Jr. The Library has recently renovated the office’s exterior and there are plans to open it as a museum.
A house in Windham Center was built in 1790 for Samuel Grey, one of the town’s most influential citizens. The house, also known as the Perkins House, was rebuilt around 1835 in the Greek Revival style.