I seldom see a town that bears my unusual family name. So I had more than passing interest in visiting the town of Boyce, Virginia, located only a two-hour drive from my hometown of Washington D.C. Unfortunately, the trip to the former railroad town left me with more questions than answers. A commemorative plaque in downtown Boyce, located […]
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 sprouts “showy red fruits” so tasty that early desert settlers raced to pick them before animals could eat them. Unfortunately, repeated visits to the arboretum have yet to provide first-hand confirmation […]
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 the delusional John Nash in “A Beautiful Mind,” makes his secret letter drops? The juxtaposition seems oddly […]
In June of 1925, a special train assigned by the Southern Pacific Railway carried the body of Julius Krutschnitt, Sr., railroad genius and empire builder, to the Metairie Cemetery in his boyhood home of New Orleans. Judging by a trip to the grave site this weekend, he still appears to be buried there, alongside his wife, Elise Minna […]
We drove a hundred of miles out of our way during 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 the mining town of Alder Gulch. I was fascinated by the […]
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. The president and his Democrat allies in Congress enjoyed strong backing. 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.