It’s not often that you see a town that bears a unusual family name. That explains the more than passing interest in visiting the town of Boyce, Virginia, located only a two-mile drive from Washington D.C. Nevertheless, a trip to the former railroad town this weekend, though it satisfied my curiosity, left me with more questions than answers. A commemorative plaque in […]
The Boyce Thompsoni hedgehog cactus, named after the great benefactor of the Boyce Thompson Arboretum in Superior, Ariz., allegedly grows glorious magenta flowers that emit an irresistibly fragrant aroma. It later sprouts showy red fruits, so tasty that early desert settlers raced to get them before animals could eat them. Unfortunately, repeated visits to the arboretum have yet to provide first-hand confirmation of […]
Our January 2008 trip to Alder Manor, William Boyce Thompson’s Italian Renaissance Revival estate in Yonkers, N.Y., revealed many interesting bits of trivia. Did you know that a Victoria’s Secret catalog was shot there, or that this is the house where Russell Crowe, playing delusional John Nash, makes his secret letter drops? The juxtaposition seems oddly appropriate. We were treated to […]
In June of 1925, a special train assigned by the Southern Pacific Railway carried the body of Julius Krutschnitt, Sr., railroad genius and empire buider, to Metairie Cemetery in his boyhood home of New Orleans. Judging by a trip to the gravesite this weekend, he still appears to be buried there, alongside alongside his wife, Elise Minna Kock (1857-1941), and his […]
We drove a hundred of miles out of our way in the summer of 1997 to visit Virginia City, Montana, the place where my great grandfather, J.E. Thompson, and his brother William Boyce Thompson were born. There’s a museum there that celebrates the history of what used to be called Alder Gulch. My kids had never […]
J.E. Thompson couldn’t have picked a more difficult time to run for the U.S. Senate. The year was 1934, right in the middle of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s first term. The county was in the midst of the Great Depression and strongly backed the president and his Democrat allies in Congress. Moreover, Thompson, a relative unknown […]
Patricia Thompson, wife of William B. Thompson, took us on a tour of the Galveston home where her paternal grandmother, Beatrice Moser, lived during the early 1900s. Here is Patricia posing with her two daughters, Katie and Liza. Patricia, who grew up in Houston, remembers visiting the home often as a child. The family would come to Galveston on weekends […]
This blog is dedicated to the history of the Thompson family, starting now and going backward.