Business records and family papers of the Thompson family of Canaan Valley, WV. Includes genealogical information, correspondence, historical narratives, photographs, ephemera, currency, printed materials, business records, artifacts, and other material.
Includes 12 series:
Series 1. Genealogy; 1913-1921, undated; box 1, folder 1.
Series 2. Correspondence; 1887-1966, undated; box 1, folders 2-3 and box 5, folder 12 - box 6, folder 6.
Series 3. Diaries; 1891-1892; box 1, folder 4.
Series 4. Historical Narratives; 1914-1982, undated; box 1, folders 5-10 and box 5, folders 1-9.
Series 5. Photographs; 1880 - ca. 1930, ca. 1960s, undated; box1, folders 11-18 through box 4.
Series 6. Land Deeds; 1889, 1917-1946; box 5, folder 10.
Series 7. Ephemera; 1895-1953, 1985-2002, undated; box 5, folder 11.
Series 8. Currency; 1864-1874, 1900-1920, undated; box 6, folder 7.
Series 9. Printed Material; 1881-1987; box 7 - box 8, folder 2.
Series 10. Business Records; 1880-1963, undated; box 8, folder 3 - box 10.
Series 11. Artifacts; ca. 1900s-1920s, 1970s, undated; boxes 11-12.
Series 12. Oversize; 1906-1918, 1954-1976, undated; box 13 and oversize folder.
Series 1. Genealogy; 1913-1921, undated; box 1, folder 1. This series includes copies of book pages, census pages, correspondence, and typescripts, as well as original genealogy worksheets and clippings, about the genealogy of the Thompson family. Last names include Thompson, Blake, Fletcher, and more.
Series 2. Correspondence; 1887-1966, undated; box 1, folders 2-3 and box 5, folder 12 - box 6, folder 6. This series includes letters to George B. Thompson, many from family, including A. Thompson (likely his uncle Albert), and one from Arthur S. Dayton. Also included are school records, receipts, ephemera, letters, a notebook, and other items found in the lap desk in Series 11, Artifacts, box 12. Highlights of the lap desk material include school reports from George B. Thompson's time at Lyndon Institute (1887-1890) and his diploma from Lyndon Commercial College (1890). Additional correspondence can be found in Series 10, Business Records, and Series 12, Oversize.
Series 3. Diaries; 1891-1892; box 1, folder 4. This series includes two pocket diaries belonging to George B. Thompson.
Series 4. Historical Narratives; 1914-1982, undated; box 1, folders 5-10 and box 5, folders 1-9. This series includes handwritten and typescript historical narratives and reminiscences, printed material, clippings, and correspondence of George B. Thompson. Subjects include John Franklin Thompson and other family members; Herr Lands; timber business; Baltimore & Ohio Railroad; Babcock Lumber and Boom Company; Beaver Creek Railroad; history of the area of Davis, WV; Dry Fork Railroad; Canaan Valley; Thompson family history; Jacob Rumbarger; childhood in Stark, New Hampshire; and more.
Series 5. Photographs; 1880 - ca. 1930, ca. 1960s, undated; box1, folders 11-18 through box 4. This series includes photograph prints, photo postcards, mounted prints, cabinet cards, photo albums, and panoramic photos. Types of photos include indoor and outdoor portraits (group and individual), candid shots of employees, landscapes, business operations, and buildings. Subjects include river boats; haymaking; logging and lumber companies; railroads; mills; Babcock Boom and Lumber Company; dams; leisure (boating); West Virginia Pulp and Paper Company; churches; various Thompson family members; and more. Locations photographed include Blackwater River and Canyon; Davis, WV; Parsons, WV; Hambleton, WV; Elkins, WV; Canaan Valley; and more.
The two panoramic photos show the skyline view on the Seneca Trail between Thomas and Parsons, WV (ca. 1920s); and the view from North Mountain, Pendleton County, WV, looking over Germany Valley, with Spruce Knob in the distance (1926).
Series 6. Land Deeds; 1889, 1917-1946; box 5, folder 10. This series includes four land deeds (facsimiles and originals) pertaining to the Thompsons.
Series 7. Ephemera; 1895-1953, 1985-2002, undated; box 5, folder 11. This series includes railroad tickets, a tax receipt, correspondence, a memorial item, a marriage invitation, advertisements, and more. Additional ephemera can be found in Series 2, Correspondence; Series 10, Business Records; and Series 12, Oversize.
Series 8. Currency; 1864-1874, 1900-1920, undated; box 6, folder 7. This series includes 17 pieces of paper currency found inside the lap desk in Series 11, Artifacts, box 12:
one Confederate States of America $5 note (February 17, 1864),
one Sandy River National Bank of Farmington in Maine $1 note (damaged, undated),
one USA fractional currency 25 cent note featuring George Washington (ca. 1869),
one USA fractional currency 10 cent note featuring William Meredith (1874),
one USA Revenue stamp, 50 cents, life insurance (1869?),
one franc, Ville d' Angers (1915),
two complete and one partial Dominion of Canada 25 cent notes (March 1, 1870),
one Dominion of Canada 25 cent note (January 1, 1900),
one banknote (?) from Los Sres. J. Simon y Ca. for 5 centavos (Cuba, 1909),
one Banque Nationale de la Republique d' Haiti 1 gourde (1919),
one Banco de Occidente Guatemalan 20 pesos (1919),
one Banco Agricola Hipotecario Guatemalan 5 pesos (1917),
two Banco Americano de Guatemala 1 pesos (November 2, 1914 and June 15, 1920), and
one Banco Americano de Guatemala 5 pesos (May 22, 1919).
Series 9. Printed Material; 1881-1987; box 7 - box 8, folder 2. This series includes books, a journal, a circular, and more. Topics include military landscape sketching, infantry, and rifles; Camp Knox, KY ROTC; the United Fruit Company; beavers in West Virginia; and the Blackwater Canyon Railway. Additional printed material can be found in Series 12, Oversize.
Series 10. Business Records; 1880-1963, undated; box 8, folder 3 - box 10. This series includes ledgers, ephemera, correspondence, financial statements, receipts, reports, minute books, notebooks, and other business documents related to the business ventures of George B. Thomspon and the military career of his son Ben Thompson. Subjects include the Crystal Lime and Mine (?) Company, weather, the price of spruce, livestock (sheep and cattle), the Babcock Lumber and Boom Company, the coal lands of George W. Dobbins heirs, the Canaan Valley Development Company, farming, household accounts, the Canaan Valley Telephone Company, Canaan Valley Produce Incorporated, and more. Additional business records can be found in Series 12, Oversize.
Series 11. Artifacts; ca. 1900s-1920s, 1970s, undated; boxes 11-12. This series includes one Poco camera in a case with plates, one vest pocket Kodak camera, two unopened film canisters from ca. 1970s, a wood lap desk, and a brown leather wallet found in the travel desk. Other contents of the lap desk were moved to Series 2, Correspondence, box 5, folder 16 - box 6, folder 6 and to Series 8, Currency, box 6, folder 7.
Series 12. Oversize; 1906-1918, 1954-1976, undated; box 13 and oversize folder. This series includes correspondence, business records, maps, and printed material.
Correspondence includes the letter copying book of correspondence etc. of George B. Thompson, pertaining to the Thompson Lumber Company and other subjects (1906-1918) (box 13).
Business records include a ledger for Canaan Valley Produce Incorporated (1954-1958) (box 13), and a tax return (1918) (box 13) and certificate of incorporation (1914) (oversize folder) for the Canaan Valley Development Company of Tucker County, WV.
The two maps are a map of A. Thompson Lands at Lime-rock, WV (undated) (box 13) and a map of Blackwater Manor, Tucker County, WV lands owned by Addison Child and others (undated) (oversize folder).
Printed material includes the Special Bicentennial Issue of the West Virginia Hillbilly (November 27, 1976) (box 13) and the Davis Industrial Edition of the Tucker County Republican from August 9, 1895 (undated) (oversize folder).
No special access restriction applies.
Researchers may access digitized materials by visiting the link attached to each item or by requesting to view the materials in person by appointment or remotely by contacting the West Virginia & Regional History Center reference department at https://westvirginia.libanswers.com/wvrhc.
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George Benjamin Thompson (ca. 1870-1956) was born in New Hampshire and died in Tucker County, WV. His father, Hiram Thompson (1844-1871), died when he was young, so he grew up with is mother and his uncle, Albert Thompson (1839-1921). His uncle established the Blackwater Boom and Lumber Company in 1888, and George assisted his uncle with business. Later, when the Babcock family of Pittsburgh bought out the company, George would serve as general manager of Babcock Boom & Lumber Company from 1907 to 1918. George's son Benjamin F. Thompson (1903-1994) served as a corporal in the US Army during World War II. Additional information about the family can be found in the Chronicles of the Tucker County Highlands History and Education Project, issue no. 60 (August 2015), which can be found in the control folder for this collection.
For more information on the lumber businesses, see also: Thompson, George B, and Ben Thompson. A History of the Lumber Business at Davis, West Virginia, 1885-1924. Parsons, W.V: McClain, 1974. Print.
5.75 Linear Feet (5 ft. 8 1/2 in. (9 document cases, 5 in. each); (2 document cases, 2 1/2 in. each); (1 record carton, 15 in.); (1 flat storage box, 3 1/2 in.); (1 oversize folder, 3 items))
Business records and family papers of the Thompson family of Canaan Valley, WV. Includes genealogical information, correspondence, historical narratives, photographs, ephemera, currency, printed materials, business records, artifacts, and other material. See Scope and Content note for more information.
West Virginia and Regional History Center / West Virginia University / 1549 University Avenue / P.O. Box 6069 / Morgantown, WV 26506-6069 / Phone: 304-293-3536 / Fax: 304-293-3981 / URL: https://wvrhc.lib.wvu.edu/