The Thompson House
There is not a doubt that Ira was sold on the idea as he thought about it driving home. The next thing would be to sell the idea to Christina. She loved her home and although she and Ira worked hard, it was a peaceful quiet haven to her. Ira was so enthused about the new idea that she finally went along with her husband in his planning. Christina tried hard to share in his delight, but not without shedding a few tears as he was making the final arrangements with Elias Reynolds. The deed was transferred and the small one and a half story farmhouse became The Thompson House in 1880. I am sure that as they drove away for the last time, Ira never realized that a part of Christina’s heart was left on the farm.
It was a very long day from New York to Windham, back in the eighteen hundreds. There were two ways of traveling to the Catskills, one being the Hudson River Day Line, which was very scenic until about half way through the day, when your eyes would be full of nature and the rhythmic turning of the paddle wheel would lull you to sleep. The guests were met at the train with a big wagon which was driven by Ira. From Hunter, the people were taken over an eight mile stretch of road to The Thompson House.
Meals at The Thompson House were often and plentiful, and all of our vegetables and many of the meats were home grown. On the farm, which belonged to the Thompson’s, were kept chickens, pigs, and cows. Fresh meat was served twice a week from our own smoke house. All of the butter was made right at home. A favorite breakfast was a bowl of hot old-fashioned oatmeal, steak, fried potatoes, hot corn bread, and coffee. Dinner at noontime and what was called Supper, at six o’clock, were both full course meals. All this and one week’s stay would cost $7 to $10 a person.
The guests in those days were mostly families who would come with huge trunks and stay from July 1st until Labor Day. The same people came every year, had the same rooms, sat at the same tables, and usually sat in the same chairs on the porch.
As the times changed so did The Thompson House. In the 1930s Farris & Raymond Thompson built The Thompson/Osborn Dam, in the Batavia Kill. Here people would go swimming and boating, or sit in the bleachers and enjoy a Water Sports Show. In 1958 The Thompson House put in its first in ground pool. Also, in 1958 Farris and Anita Thompson and John and Mickey “Thompson” Goettsche brought The Thompson House and Pines Inn together.
Now, seven generations and over 130 years later, Eric “Thompson” and Debbie Goettsche, their son and his wife Kurt “Thompson” and Darya Goettsche, their son Maddox “Thompson” Goettsche are still providing gracious hospitality and memorable vacations for everyone who visits The Thompson House.