Willimantic is a census-designated place and former city located in the town of Windham in Windham County, Connecticut, United States. The population was estimated at 15,823 at the 2000 census. It is home to Eastern Connecticut State University, as well as the Windham Textile and History Museum. The city was incorporated in 1893 as a section of the town of Windham. The city government was dissolved in 1983 with the area reverting back to the town. It is also the birthplace of U.S Senator Christopher Dodd of Connecticut. Railroads added to the growth of Willimantic; the town was one of only a handful of stops between Boston and New York on the high-speed "White Train" of the 1890s. In the early 20th century, between 50 and 100 trains ran through Willimantic daily. More than 800 ornate Victorian homes multiplied in the town's Prospect Hill section, which is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The town prospered, growing from a population of less than 5,000 in 1860 to more than 12,100 by 1910. From the end of the Civil War to the outbreak of World War II, Willimantic was a center for the production of silk and cotton thread. Immigrants from Europe arrived to work in the mills -- Irish, Italians, Polish, Germans and French Canadians. Later, Estonian, Ukraine, Latvian, Lithuanian, and Puerto Rican immigrants moved to the town in search of mill jobs.