If a bridge that has four giant frogs sitting on huge spools of thread (frogs? thread?) doesn't qualify as an eccentric roadside attraction, then I'll eat my hat. The eastern Connecticut town of Willimantic was once known as Thread City because 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. Like many other mill towns, the main industry eventually left, leaving a slightly depressed but never-say-die college community (UConn and Eastern Conn. colleges are nearby) in its wake. When an old bridge needed to be replaced, town officials decide to capitalize on Willi's colorful past with a bit of whimsy and an archectually beautiful bridge decorated with frogs on thread. The thread part makes sense, but why frogs? Why indeed! The town has a legend called Frog Fight, when, in 1754, townsfolk were awakened from their beds by an unseen screeching menace. The next morning, they discovered scores of dead frogs, who had fought for the last remaining puddles of water in a drought-stricken lake. The four-lane bridge, which opened in 2000, is officially state road 661. It's toadally cool.
5 hours ago