Thompson, Connecticut

Thompson is a rural town in Windham County, Connecticut, United States. The town was named after Sir Robert Thompson, an English landholder.[1] The population was 9,458 at the 2010 census.[2] Thompson is located in the northeastern corner of the state and is bordered on the north by Webster, Massachusetts and Dudley, Massachusetts, on the east by Douglas, Massachusetts and Burrillville, Rhode Island, on the west by Woodstock, Connecticut, and on the south by Putnam, Connecticut.

Thompson has the highest-banked race track (Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, a 5/8 mile oval and a restored 1.7 mile road course) in New England. This speedway holds one of the biggest race programs in New England, The World Series of Auto Racing, where 16 divisions and about 400 cars show up each fall. Another claim to fame is that the Tri-State Marker is located just on the border of Thompson. The term "Swamp Yankee" is thought to have originated in Thompson during the American Revolution in 1776.

Thompson was the site of the Great East Thompson Train Wreck in 1891, one of the worst train wrecks in American history and the only one to involve four trains.

Thompson, Connecticut
Official seal of Thompson, Connecticut

Location in Windham County and the state of Connecticut.
Location in Windham County and the state of Connecticut.
Coordinates: 41°59′04″N 71°52′40″W / 41.98444°N 71.87778°WCoordinates: 41°59′04″N 71°52′40″W / 41.98444°N 71.87778°W
Country United States
State Connecticut
NECTAWorcester, MA
RegionNortheastern Connecticut
 • TypeSelectman-town meeting
 • First selectmanKenneth Beausoleil (D)
 • State SenatorMae Flexer
(D-29th District)
 • State Rep.Rick Hayes
(D-51st District)
 • Total48.7 sq mi (126.1 km2)
 • Land46.9 sq mi (121.6 km2)
 • Water1.7 sq mi (4.4 km2)
469 ft (143 m)
 • Total9,458
 • Density190/sq mi (75/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (Eastern)
ZIP code
06255, 06262, 06277
Area code(s)860
FIPS code09-75870
GNIS feature ID0213516


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 48.7 square miles (126 km2), of which 46.9 square miles (121 km2) is land and 1.7 square miles (4.4 km2), or 3.51%, is water. Thompson possesses many small ponds, such as Little Pond and Long Pond, as well as two principal lakes: West Thompson Lake and Quaddick Reservoir. Contained within its borders are several moderately sized rivers, including the French River and Five Mile River, both tributaries of the Quinebaug River, which also runs through Thompson. One of the highest points in Thompson and the surrounding villages is Fort Hill at 649 feet (198 m) above sea level. The city is located 64 miles southwest of Boston [3]and 110 miles northeast of Bridgeport.[4] It is on the 41st parallel north, putting it on the same latitude as Lake Ohrid in Albania.

A minor point of geological interest is the Wilsonville Fault, created during the breakup of Pangaea nearly 200 million years ago.[5]

Adjacent towns


Thompson is composed of ten villages:


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 20149,308[6]−1.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
CT-RI-MA Tripoint
The CT-RI-MA Tri-State marker located in Thompson

As of the census[8] of 2010, there were 9,458 people, 3,730 households, and 2,587 families residing in the town. The population density was 201.7 people per square mile (78.4/km²). There were 4,171 housing units at an average density of 88.9 per square mile (34.5/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 95.6% White, 0.6% African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.6% from other races, and 1.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.8% of the population.

Of the 3,730 households: 28.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.7% were married couples living together, 8.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.6% were non-families. 24.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 2.98.

In the town, the population was spread out with 21.8% under the age of 18, 7.2% from 18 to 24, 24.5% from 25 to 44, 31.9% from 45 to 64, and 14.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females, there were 99.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.2 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $63,385, and the median income for a family was $75,652. Males had a median income of $52,716 versus $39,362 for females. The per capita income for the town was $29,044. About 5.1% of families and 7.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.7% of those under age 18 and 5.5% of those age 65 or over.


Thompson has a public school system in which the elementary, middle, and high school buildings are connected. The Mary R. Fisher Memorial Elementary School has students in pre-K through 4th grade, Thompson Middle School consists of grades 5-8, and Tourtellotte Memorial High School has students in grades 9-12.[9] Also in town are several private schools, the Catholic St Joseph's School, currently serving pre-K - grade 8, and Marianapolis Preparatory, a Marian high school located on historic Thompson Hill.[10][11]

The original Tourtellotte Memorial High School building, which exists today as administrative offices for the school system, was built in the Greek Revival style. The cornerstone was laid in 1907 and the school opened in 1909. The school is named in memory of Dr. Jacob F. Tourtellotte. Tourtellotte was a ship's surgeon in the U.S. Navy during the Civil War. The school also houses a small museum, called the "Memorial Room" which contains portraits of Tourtellotte and his family, and some of their possessions. It is maintained by the local historical society, and is usually open to the public for tours one Sunday per month.[12]

Marianapolis Preparatory School was established in 1926, sponsored by the Congregation of Marians of the Immaculate Conception.[13] The school is located on the former Ream Estate, built by Norman Bruce Ream, a Director of The Pullman Company, U.S. Steel, and The National Biscuit Company, which is now known as Nabisco. The Estate, including the circa 1900 mansion "Carolyn Hall," named after Ream's wife, was sold to the Marians in 1931, but the Mansion burned down in 1964 and a new main school building was built in its place.[14]


Thompson, Connecticut Public Library 1908 postcard
Public Library, circa 1908

The Thompson Public Library[15] is located at 934 Riverside Drive, North Grosvenordale. It is combined with the town's Community Center, and contains 20,400 square feet (1,900 m2) holding 55,000 items, including books, magazines, CDs, DVDs, audio tapes, video tapes, and online resources.

The library was started in 1902 with 1,370 books in a small building on Thompson Hill, now known as the Ellen Larned Memorial Library. Two branches were created, the Quinebaug Branch, in operation from 1961 to 1994, and the Grosvenordale Branch, in operation from 1958 to 1966. Thompson was the first small town in Connecticut to have a bookmobile service, operating from 1966 to 1993. The current library in North Grosvenordale was finished in 1994.

Notable people


  1. ^ "Profile for Thompson, Connecticut". ePodunk. Retrieved 2010-05-11.
  2. ^ "Race, Hispanic or Latino, Age, and Housing Occupancy: 2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File (QT-PL), Thompson town, Connecticut". U.S. Census Bureau, American FactFinder 2. Retrieved October 3, 2011.
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^
  5. ^ "USGS NE CT Survey". Retrieved 2011-06-16.
  6. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Archived from the original on May 23, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  7. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  8. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ Echoes of Old Thompson, Vol I
  15. ^ [2]

External links

Anastasy Vonsiatsky

Anastasy Andreyevich Vonsyatsky (Russian: Анаста́сий Андре́евич Вонся́цкий, Polish: Anastazy Wąsiacki; June 12, 1898 – February 5, 1965), better known in the United States as Anastase Andreivitch Vonsiatsky, was a Russian anti-Bolshevik émigré and fascist leader based in the United States from the 1920s.

He became a naturalized American citizen while leading a splinter far-right organization, the Russian National Revolutionary Labor and Workers Peasant Party of Fascists. The headquarters of the RFO were based in Putnam, Connecticut. Vonsyatsky was charged with the support of secret contacts with agents of Nazi Germany and arrested by the FBI in 1942, following the United States' entry into war with Germany and Japan. Released early from prison in 1946, Vonsyatsky lived out the remainder of his life in the United States. He died in St. Petersburg, Florida, in 1965.

Augustine Lonergan

Augustine Lonergan (May 20, 1874 – October 18, 1947) was a U.S. Senator and Representative from Connecticut. He was a member of the Democratic Party.

Charles C. Stroud

Charles Crawford "Doc" Stroud (October 26, 1870 – December 8, 1949) was an American football, basketball, and baseball coach.

Stroud was born on October 26, 1870 in Thompson, Connecticut and attended Putnam High School in Putnam, Connecticut. He graduated from Tufts College in 1894. At Tufts, he played on the varsity football and baseball team. He taught for a year at Burr and Burton Academy in Manchester, Vermont before returning to Tufts in 1895 to attend Tufts Medical College and coach football. Stroud was the head football coach at Rochester University. He also served as head baseball, basketball and football coach at Mercer University. Stroud coached at LSU as head coach for LSU basketball and LSU baseball. He also served as the head baseball coach and athletic director at Northwestern State University. Stroud died on December 8, 1949 in Natchitoches, Louisiana.

General Stafford

James Joseph "General" Stafford (January 30, 1868 – September 18, 1923) was a Major League Baseball player from 1890 to 1899. He played for the Buffalo Bisons, New York Giants, Louisville Colonels, Boston Beaneaters, and Washington Senators. Stafford stood at 5 feet 8 inches (1.73 m) and weighed 165 pounds (75 kg). His younger brother John Henry "Doc" Stafford pitched in two games for the Cleveland Spiders in 1893.

George Tobin (American football)

George Edward Tobin (July 9, 1921 – January 2, 1999) was an American football guard who played one season with the New York Giants of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at the University of Notre Dame and attended Marianapolis Preparatory School in Thompson, Connecticut.

George Whitefield Davis

George Whitefield Davis (July 26, 1839 – July 12, 1918) was an engineer and Major General in the United States Army. He also served as a military Governor of Puerto Rico and as the first military Governor of the Panama Canal Zone.

Gerard Cowhig

Gerard Finbar Cowhig (July 5, 1921 – December 6, 1995) was an American football player who played five seasons in the National Football League (NFL) with the Los Angeles Rams, Chicago Cardinals and Philadelphia Eagles. He was drafted by the Cleveland Rams in the sixth round of the 1945 NFL Draft. He played college football at the University of Notre Dame. He attended Mechanic Arts High School in Boston, Massachusetts and Marianapolis Preparatory School in Thompson, Connecticut. Cowhig was married to actress Jean Willes and they had one son named Gerry.

Ithiel Town

Ithiel Town (October 3, 1784 – June 13, 1844) was a prominent American architect and civil engineer. One of the first generation of professional architects in the United States, Town made significant contributions to American architecture in the first half of the 19th century. His work, in the Federal and revivalist Greek and Gothic revival architectural styles, was influential and widely copied.

John E. Tourtellotte

John Everett Tourtellotte (February 22, 1869 – May 8, 1939) was a prominent western American architect, best known for his projects in Idaho. His work in Boise included the Idaho State Capitol, the Boise City National Bank, the Carnegie Library, and numerous other buildings for schools, universities, churches, and government institutions. From 1922 to 1930, he worked in Portland, Oregon.

He was associated with partnerships John E. Tourtellotte & Company and Tourtellotte & Hummel, based in Boise. Works by these firms were covered in a 1982 study and many of the buildings were immediately or later listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

King Cadillac GMC Throwback 100

The King Cadillac GMC Throwback 100 is a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race that takes place at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park in Thompsom, Connecticut. The race adopted its "throwback" format in 2017. Tyler Ankrum is the defending winner of the event.

Marianapolis Preparatory School

Marianapolis Preparatory School is a private, co-educational, Catholic high school located in Thompson, Connecticut.

North Grosvenor Dale, Connecticut

North Grosvenordale is a village and census-designated place (CDP) in the town of Thompson in Windham County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 1,424 at the 2000 census. The core of the village is listed as the North Grosvenordale Mill Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places. The historic area around the cotton mill was listed in 1993 and is located on Riverside Drive (Route 12), Buckley Hill Road, Floral Avenue, Market Lane, and Marshall, Central, River, and Holmes Streets.

Quaddick Reservoir

Quaddick Reservoir is a man-made body of water in the town of Thompson, Connecticut. The reservoir has three sections: Lower (124 acres), Middle (203 acres), and Upper (81 acres). It originated with the completion of a dam on the Five Mile River in 1865. Quaddick State Park sits on the eastern shore of the Middle Reservoir.

Quaddick State Forest

Quaddick State Forest is a Connecticut state forest located in the town of Thompson north of Quaddick State Park. The forest protects 466-acre (189 ha) Quaddick Reservoir and provides opportunities for fishing, hunting, canoeing, letterboxing, and youth group camping.

Quaddick State Park

Quaddick State Park is a public recreation area located on 203-acre (82 ha) Middle Quaddick Reservoir in the town of Thompson, Connecticut. The state park is managed by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and offers opportunities for boating, swimming, fishing, and picnicking.

Quinebaug, Connecticut

Quinebaug is a village and census-designated place (CDP) in Thompson, a town in Windham County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 1,122 at the 2000 census.

Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park

Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (TSMP), formerly Thompson Speedway and Thompson International Speedway, is a motorsports park in Thompson, Connecticut, featuring a 5⁄8-mile (1.0 km) paved oval racetrack and a 1.7-mile (2.7 km) road racing course. Once known as the "Indianapolis of the East", it was the first asphalt-paved racing oval track in the United States and is now under the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series banner. Each year Thompson hosts one of the great fall variety events "The World Series of Auto Racing" highlighted by the International Supermodified Association and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. This event frequently draws over 350 race cars in 16 separate divisions over three days.

Tourtellotte Memorial High School

Tourtellotte Memorial High School is located in North Grosvenordale, Connecticut, a tiny village within the town of Thompson, Connecticut.

West Thompson Lake

West Thompson Lake is a 200-acre lake in Thompson, Windham County, Connecticut.A dam was constructed in 1965 by the United States Army Corps of Engineers to create the lake. It impounds the Quinebaug River for flood control and seasonal storm water management. The dam is owned and operated by the Corps of Engineers.The dam is one of the six flood control structures built on the river. This network of dams helps control flooding all the way from the upstream tributaries of the Thames River to the Long Island Sound. The West Thompson Dam was constructed in 1965. It cost 6.7 million U.S. dollars.The West Thompson Lake has a total storage capacity of 342 million gallons of flood water.

All Towns
Municipalities and communities of Windham County, Connecticut, United States
Former cities

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