I had lived in Willimantic, Connecticut years ago and I was utterly amazed at the transformation that had taken place at some point during my absence. While driving into town I came to a dead stop in the middle of the road, shocked by the view. In front of me was the bridge over the river I remembered but now on either side of the bridge were two massive statues of frogs, perched on stone spools of thread. Though frogs are not horses, I was instantly reminded of the Alexander Bridge in Paris.
Willimantic was once a factory town, one that made thread, thus the spools of thread but I’m not sure where the frogs fit into the picture. I walked the main street and took photos of the frog statues that lined the street. There were little green frogs stamped on the sidewalks. I stopped quite a few people and even went into a bank to ask about the frog thing. Nobody knew. Somebody does I’m sure, I just didn’t find the right person on that day. The locals apparently call it Frogtown now. I love it.
P.S. A reader sent me this from Wikipedia. Willimantic is best known for its legend,”The Battle of Frog Pond”. It was an incident in 1754 around the time of the French and Indian War. The citizens of Windham (Willimantic is located in Windham) were awakened in the middleof the night by a tremendously frightening racket just outside of town. Assuming the worst, they seized their arms and prepared for the impending Indian attack. When morning arrived, the armed villagers marched in the direction of the noise only to discover that the nearby pond had dried up, and the area was littered with hundreds of dead bullfrogs. The frogs that still lived were heading to the Willimantic River in search of water. Thus, the fearsome sounds that had plagued the citizenry the previous night had not been Indians but rather bullfrogs “fighting” for water. The pond was renamed Frog Pond, the story spread throughout the towns and colonies, and the legend was born. To commemorate the incident, the town has erected a Frog Bridge featuring giant frog sculptures atop spools of thread. The thread spools are included in the bridge’s design because Willimantic was once known as “Thread City.” 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.