Thursday, July 12, 2012

The "War of the Frogs"

One of the places I wanted to visit on my recent trip to Sturbridge, Massachusetts was the Frog Bridge in nearby Willimantic, Connecticut.  The bridge, which connects Routes 66 and 32 across the Willimantic River, was completed in 2000.  But why would it have 11-foot high frogs sitting on spools of thread?


Willimantic is known as Thread City. During the mid 19th century there were several cotton mills that produced thread in Willimantic. This explains the thread spools on the bridge. But what about the frogs?


According to legends, one evening in 1754, the townspeople were awakened by a terrible noise.  Fearing they were being attacked, they rushed outside with their muskets. Much to their surprise, what they found the next morning were lots and lots of dead frogs.  This frog "attack" is sometimes called the War of the Frogs or the Frog Fight.  When reading about the frog "war", it appears that back when it happened, the townspeople were quite embarrassed, but 250 years later they are amused. 

When it came time to build their new bridge over the Willimantic River, the residents were able to convince the state authorities to hire an architect to erect this unusual bridge that showcases their history.  I doubt you'll ever see such a sight anywhere else except in the town of Willimantic, Connecticut.


You can read more about the War of the Frogs here.

10 comments:

Margaret said...

Oh, I love it!!! Now I know I need to go visit Willimantic, CT! I know we pass over that river when we drive up to Boston. :D Thanks for the pics and the story. Wonderful!!

Vickie said...

How cool is that? Thanks for sharing. :)

Laurie in Iowa said...

Loved the story and the photos.

diamondc said...

Oh my goodness, what a story, and here I am frogging on a project I messed up on how funny.
Catherine

Lori from Notforgotten Farm said...

I've been over this bridge before, it is beautiful ~ I love the big spools :) used to live in Guilford, CT and would head this way to Old Sturbridge Village 2 times a month (at least!)
Thanks for the memories~

Mary said...

How cool are these guys?! Thanks so much for sharing their story and their pictures.

Chocolates4Breakfast (TerriBoog) said...

How awesome are those froggy spools!? I would love to see ghat one day! Thanks for sharing.

Barb said...

What a delightful story!

Barbi said...

What a great story! and spectacular sculptures! you don't realize how big they are until I just noticed the little man against the far one.

Catherine said...

Very cool!! Thanks for sharing.