In 1684, more than 20 years before the first European settlers arrived, the area that is now Thompson was acquired by Massachusetts speculators and sold to absentee English gentlemen who laid out large farms. One of these purchasers, Sir Robert Thompson of Middlesex, England, gave his name to the remote town. Today’s township of Thompson consists of what was once nine small mill towns, which grew up along convenient waterways.
In 1813, the Mason family built a small cotton mill on the French River. Larger mills were added in 1826 and 1831. In 1861, the original building was moved by Dr. William Grosvenor. He consolidated the Masonville Company Mill with the Fisherville Company Mill in 1868. In 1872, a huge steam powered cotton mill was built. By 1900, this was the biggest mill and employer in Windham County with 1,750 employees.
The Green on Thompson Hill today is the epitome of history, beautifully preserved. The oldest remaining building is the 1767 home of Samuel Watson. Ellen D. Larned, noted historian and author of the History of Windham County, was born in the house in 1825. She was the first woman admitted to the Connecticut Historical Society. The Vernon Stiles Inn was established in 1814 at the junction of the Boston to Hartford and the Providence to Springfield Turnpikes. The Old Town Hall, built in 1842, was designed by famed architect Ithiel Towne, a native of Thompson. The Thompson Hill Congregational Church was built in 1856 by members of the First Church of Killingly who were looking for a more northerly location.
Thompson offers Enterprise Zone benefits for manufacturing industry and is home for a variety of service and industry businesses. Renovated mill space is available at very affordable rates accommodating requirements for businesses ranging from incubator start-ups to agri-technology. Intensive revitalization efforts in the North Grosvenordale area has included extensive renovation of historic mill housing for affordable housing opportunities, new senior housing, public library/community center and recreation centers and trails. Thompson is also home to the well-known Thompson International Speedway and golf course.
Zip: Thompson – 06277, Grosvenordale – 06246, North Grosvenordale – 06255, Quinebaug – 06295
Area: 47-3 square miles
Population: (1990 census) 8,668
Form of Government: Board of Selectmen / Town Meeting
Mill Rate: 17.56
|Agent for the Elderly||(860)923-9561|
|Fair Housing Officer||(860)923-9475|
|Quaddick State Park||(860)928-9200|
|West Thompson Dam Recreation Area||(860)923-2982|
|Registrar of voters||(860)923-9636|
|Resident State Trooper||(860)923-3716|
|Senior Citizen’s Lunch||(860)923-3941|
|Superintendent of Schools||(860)923-9581|
|Town Clerk / Vital Statistics||(860)923-9900|
|Transfer Station||(860)923-9820 or 923-9561|
|Mary R. Fisher Elementary School||(860)923-9142|
|Thompson Middle School||(860)923-9380|
|Tourtellotte Memorial High School||(860)923-9303|
|Marianapolis Preparatory School||(860)923-9565|
|St. Joseph’s Grammar School (pre-K-9)||(860)923-2090|