American Thread Company

Also known as: Willimantic Linen Company, Jillson Mills
Main Street, Willimantic

A preserved mill complex that manufactured cotton thread.


WillimanticLinenMill 1

This was the first building erected by the Willimantic Linen Company, in 1857. (480 Main Street) It was converted into "Art Space," rental apartments with a community art gallery.

Photo taken by Chester Gehman in June 2014



Street View 


The American Thread Company succeeded the Wilimantic Linen Company in 1898. The Willimantic Linen Company was organized in 1854 to produce linen goods. The Crimean War, however, limited the supply of needed flax, so the company converted to manufacturing cotton thread by the late 1850's. Due to expanding business several mill buildings were built over the years for a total of six, two of which remain-Mills #1 & #2. No. 4 mill, built on the other side of the Willimantic River from the main complex, was claimed to be the largest single-story building in the world at the time. It burned in 1995. American Thread Company ceased production in the 1980's.

Update Log 

  • April 27, 2021: New photos from Chester Gehman
  • April 26, 2021: Added by Chester Gehman