July 17, 2014
By ROSA CICCIO | Hartford Courant
HOW IT GOT ITS NAME: From Wymondham in Norfolk, England, the ancestral home of prominent early settlers.
ORIGINS: The area was settled in the 1680s when land was bequeathed by Mohican Sachem Chief Joshua to 16 men, most from Norwich. The original town was considerably larger, as it included land that would eventually become the towns of Mansfield, Scotland, Chaplin and Hampton. It was incorporated in 1692.
EDUCATION: In 1899, the Willimantic State Normal School was founded for women wanting to become teachers. Women who signed a contract agreeing to teach only in Connecticut received free tuition and books. Room and board cost $3.50 a week. The school would eventually evolve into Eastern Connecticut State University.
THE FROG WAR OF 1754: Around midnight one day in late spring 1754, an eerie sound awakened the town. As frightened villagers gathered on the town green, no one could figure out what the noise was or where it was coming from. Some thought it was the Day of Judgment, some thought it was an Indian attack. Three men volunteered to ride up Mullin Hill to explore. As dawn approached, the din died down and the men found thousands of dead frogs strewn around Follet's Pond. There was never a definitive conclusion as to why the frogs died, but one theory is that a "frog war" broke out over a dwindling water supply. In 1924 the Daughters of the American Revolution dedicated a plaque "to commemorate the legend of the Battle of the Frogs."
SOURCES: The Hartford Courant; Connecticut Place Names; windhamct.com; connecticutgenealogy.com; CT State Register and Manual