The oldest parts of the Plume & Atwood Manufacturing Company‘s factory in Thomaston date to 1853. In that year, clockmaker Seth Thomas, who was unhappy buying brass for his clocks from companies in Waterbury, built his own brass mill on the Naugatuck River. In 1869 a new company was organized, Holmes, Booth & Atwood, which purchased the factory with the agreement that they would continue to supply brass for Seth Thomas clocks. The founders of the company had left the Waterbury firm of Holmes, Booth & Haydens and Hiram W. Hayden sued them over the fact that their new company’s name resembled the existing company’s name too closely. In 1871, the new group took the name Plume & Atwood–David Scott Plume was the company’s treasurer. The factory buildings were severely damaged in the 1955 flood. Since the late 1950s, other companies have utilized the old factory. Read the rest of this entry »
The Post Office at 150 Main Street in Thomaston (pdf) was built in 1937 and was dedicated in 1938. The building features a WPA/New Deal-era mural, “Early Clock Making,” painted in 1939 by Lucerne and Suzanne McCullough, twin sisters from New Orleans.
Seth Thomas (1785-1859) established his famous clock company in Plymouth Hollow (later renamed Thomaston in his honor) in 1813, buying out Heman Clark’s clockmaking business there. Thomas had previously worked with Eli Terry and Silas Hoadley in Plymouth. The company continued to expand during his lifetime and after his death, becoming one of America’s longest lived clock companies. The main Seth Thomas Clock Company building, which succeeded earlier structures, was built in 1915 (Note: I determined the date of the factory’s construction from a Sanborn Insurance map.). Located on South Main Street in Thomaston, it is a sprawling complex that was added to over the years. In 1931 the company became a division of General Time Instruments Corporation, later known as General Time Corporation. From World War II until 1967, the factory also made marine timing and navigational devices for the military as a defense plant. The factory was severely damaged in the Flood of 1955, but reopened the following year. In 1970, the company was taken over by Talley Industries of Seattle, Washington, which closed the Thomaston plant and moved all operations to Norcross, Georgia in 1979-1982. The old factory soon reopened as an industrial park for various small manufacturers.
At 67 Union Street in Thomaston is an elaborate Queen Anne-style house built in 1884. It is named for David Plume, Treasurer of the Plume and Atwood Manufacturing Company, which produced lamps and supplied brass for Seth Thomas clocks. The house served as living space for various mangers of the brass mill. It was owned by the company until 1914, when it was sold to a company stockholder, Leslie E. Blackmer.
Methodism in Thomaston goes back to 1818, with the first congregation being formed in 1820. The first Methodist church building was a former Episcopal church, built in 1790. After the Civil War, with the aid of Aaron Thomas, president of the Seth Thomas Clock Company, and of his mother, Mrs. Seth Thomas, the current First United Methodist Church was constructed on land donated by Aaron Thomas. The cornerstone of the church was laid on June 11, 1866.
The Congregational Church in Plymouth Hollow (which would become the Town of Thomaston in 1875) was founded in 1837 and the congregation’s meeting house was built the following year. The First Congregational Church of Thomaston is a Greek Revival edifice located at 135 Main Street.
By the later 1860s, Academy Hall had become the place of Sunday Catholic worship in Plymouth Hollow, which later became the Town of Thomaston. St. Thomas Parish was established early in 1869 and the first resident pastor was appointed in 1871. A basement chapel opened in 1872, and the completed church was dedicated in 1876, built on land donated by Aaron Thomas, son of the clockmaker Seth Thomas. By the turn of the century, the growth of the parish led to the need for a larger church. The current church was built between 1906 and 1908 at the intersection of East Main and North Main Streets.