Thompson, Windham, Connecticut, USA
People, Pictures and News From the Past
Thus Thompson has become known as the town of 10 villages. The Thompson Historical Society has considerable information about each of the villages and its history, together with many photographs of each area and its denizens. The following is only a brief description of the most important or famous historical event in each of the villages. The villages are:
Site of the only 4-train wreck in the history of the United States. The wreck took place in 1901.
Noted primarily for the Keegan Mill, originally built by Smith Wilkinson, which was a major employer in the area for some 100 years.
Originally known as "New Boston". Settled mainly by Swedish residents.
Named after the Quinebaug River, which flows through the area.
Located next to Quaddick State Park, and famous for hardy souls braving the lake's cold water on the annual Thanksgiving Turkey Day swim.
Located along the banks of the French River.
Location of the Grosvenordale Mill, later owned by Belding Heminway Corp., and now being demolished to make way for other economic development.
Originally developed as Masonville, a prosperous mill town typical of many New England mill towns, primarily settled by French Canadian immigrants and their descendants, but also home of immigrants from Greece, Romania, Turkey, and Sweden. The mill area was named after William Mason, whose family had developed the mills. William Mason built a magnificent mansion on Thompson Hill.
The earliest settled area in Thompson, and the early location of local industries. After the advent of the mill villages of Grosvenordale and North Grosvenordale, the industrial activity declined on the Hill, which became the residence of wealthy mill owners. Its reputation remains to this day.
West Thompson was a thriving area of farms and open spaces, until the flood of 1955, after which the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers flooded the village in order to operate a new dam to prevent further floods in the area. www.thompsonct.org/ About/ about.html
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1830 - 100th Birthday
The celebration of the hundreth birthday of a venerable citizen named Melatiah Mason, of Thompson, Connecticut, took place on the 30th ultimo. A sermon was preached on the occasion, and a collection of 840 made for his benefit. He has been a member of the church for 70 years, was a mason by trade, as well as by name; always worked hard, lived tempe... Read MORE...
1841 - THE LAST SOLDIER GONE!
Departed this life at Thompson, Connecticut, on the 12th ult., Mr. Ezekiel Blackmarr, in the 99th year of his age. He was the son of James Blackmarr, and born in Gloucester, Rhode Island, in August, 1742. Seventy-nine years ago last May, he enlisted as a private in the troops raised in the British colonies to take the island of Cuba, under the Earl... Read MORE...
1860 - Throwing Brickbats in Sleep
A young man residing in West Thompson, Connecticut, rose in his sleep, Sunday night crawled through the attic scuttle to the roof of the house, commenced loosening the bricks from the chimney, and throwing them upon the roof. His father, alarmed by the noise, called him sharply by name, when the son awoke, lost his balance and fell to the ground. H... Read MORE...
1865 - Counterfeit Notes
BOSTON, July 26. - Well executed counterfeit $10 bills on the Thompson Bank, of Thompson, Connecticut, are in circulation here.
Washington, District of Columbia
July 27, 1865
1874 - Curious Clock
A Thompson, Connecticut, clock company has shipped a curious clock to San Francisco, to be placed in the tower of the greatest hotel on the continent, where it will furnish the time for 500 dials, which are to be operated by compressed air carried in pipes all over the building. The building has 500 rooms and there is to be a dial in every room.
The Galveston Daily News
February 24, 1874
1875 - Shooting
A tragedy which grew out of a drunken row, occurred in Thompson, Conn., the 25th, when Edward Ryan shot John Keating in the breast with a revolver. Keating was alive at 10 o'clock the 26th, but his death was momentarily expected. Keating was a farm hand and worked for Ryan who accused the former of going away and leaving the house unlocked, in cons... Read MORE...
1877 - Cure for Opium Habit
A resident of Thompson, Connecticut, publishes a cure for the "opium habit" that seems very simple. It is done by tapering off - diminishing the dose every day, which can be done without suffering, until the desire for the narcotic is removed and the ill effects dissipated.
September 6, 1877
1891 - FOUR TRAINS SMASHED UP - DISASTROUS ACCIDENT ON THE NEW-ENGLAND ROAD.
TWO FREIGHT TRAINS COLLIDED, THEN TWO PASSENGER TRAINS RAN INTO THE WRECK - THREE MEN KILLED AND SEVERAL INJURED.
PROVIDENCE, R. I., Dec. 4. - The worst wreck ever experienced by the New-York and New-England Railroad occurred at East Thompson, Conn, at 6:30 o'clock this morning. Four trains collided with each other, killing three men and injurin... Read MORE...
1899 - FIRE AT EAST THOMPSON. Railroad Station, Engine House and Signal Tower Burned Down.
New London, Nov. 7. - The railroad station at East Thompson, Conn., on the main line, Midland division, of the Consolidated Road, together with the engine house, signal tower and contents of ticket and freight offices, were destroyed by fire yesterday morning. The loss was $1,000, which was covered by insurance. The fire will cause a deal of inconv... Read MORE...
1940 - Railroad Abandoned
April 11 - The New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad Co. abandons its rail line from Webster to East Thompson, Conn.
New Haven Railroad Historical and Technical Association, Inc.
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