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Wrong John Tompson?

Rev. John Goodwin Tompson

HQ Phone: (207) 384-0000

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Old Berwick Historical Society

P.O. Box 296

South Berwick, Maine 03908

United States

Company Description

The Old Berwick Historical Society promotes public awareness of and appreciation for local and regional history through a variety of activities that explore, preserve, interpret, and celebrate the past, and through stewardship of the Counting House and it ... more

Find other employees at this company (17)

Background Information

Employment History

Counting House Museum


Berwick Academy

Web References (27 Total References)

Old Berwick Historical Society - 18th Century [cached]

Rev. John Tompson (1740-1828) and the First Parish Parsonage

Tilley Higgins 1771 Tax Valuation [cached]

Rev. John Tompson (1740-1828) and the First Parish Parsonage

Old Berwick Historical Society - John G. Tompson (b. 1799), bookbinder [cached]

John G. Tompson (b. 1799), bookbinder Old Berwick Historical Society - John G. Tompson (b. 1799), bookbinder

John G. Tompson (b. 1799), bookbinder
John G. Tompson (b. 1799), bookbinder
5. c. 1810 - John G. Tompson House -- 229 Main Street
In 1825, John Goodwin Tompson founded one of South Berwick's longest-running businesses, a book and stationery store. He lived in this house, and his bookstore, now gone, was several doors away to the south.
John G. Tompson was 26 years old when he opened his book and stationery store, according to the 1880 History of York County. A South Berwick map of 1835 shows him living in this house at 225 Main Street, where he remained until his death in 1872.
John G. Tompson was born on April 30, 1799 in Standish, Maine, according to family records. His father, William Tompson, was the eldest son of Rev. John Tompson, pastor of the First Parish Congregational Church, and had been born in Standish while Rev. Tompson served as minister there before coming to South Berwick at the close of the American Revolution, when William was almost 14.
They moved to Standish, and named their second son John Goodwin Tompson.
John G. Tompson's uncles in South Berwick included William Allen Tompson, the preceptor of Berwick Academy who lived at today's 190 Main Street, and attorney Edward P. Hayman, cashier of South Berwick Bank.
When John arrived here and set up in business, he had many other family connections through his mother's family and, of course, his grandfather, the minister, whose new church was built in 1826, a year after the bookstore opened.
A c. 1860 South Berwick map shows the J. G. Tompson house, the bookstore, and another Tompson building, perhaps a bindery shop, set back from the street.
On February 20, 1827, John G. Tompson married his mother's niece from the Old Fields neighborhood, Olive Elizabeth Goodwin (c. 1803-1864), daughter of Ichabod Goodwin.

Old Berwick Historical Society - Rev. John Tompson (1740-1828) and the First Parish Parsonage [cached]

Rev. John Tompson (1740-1828) and the First Parish Parsonage Old Berwick Historical Society - Rev. John Tompson (1740-1828) and the First Parish Parsonage

Rev. John Tompson (1740-1828) and the First Parish Parsonage
Rev. John Tompson (1740-1828) and the First Parish Parsonage
Rev. John Tompson (1740-1828) and the First Parish Parsonage
Rev. Tompson (as his name was more commonly spelled in that day) would have been about 52 years old. Less than eight years before, on May 7, 1783, he had been installed as minister of First Parish Church of Berwick, in present-day South Berwick, Maine. The meeting house, erected in 1752, stood at the corner of today's Brattle Street and Old South Road. The "Old Fields" neighborhood, where the church burial ground still remains, was then the center of the settlement, the crossroads of routes connecting forests in the interior to mills on the Great Works River and shipyards on the Salmon Falls River.
Throughout the 1700s, the meeting house stood at today's corner of Old South Road and Brattle Street.
Tompson had been born on October 3, 1740 in Scarborough, Maine, where his father William was minister, and graduated from Harvard College in 1760.
Rev. John Tompson, Rev. William Tompson's great-great grandson, took his new post just a few months before the Treaty of Paris ended the Revolutionary War in 1783.
Captain John Storer Tompson (1783-1863) . Courtesy of Ralph N. Thompson
Rev. Tompson's youngest son, William Allen (c. 1786-1835), born in the Old South Road parsonage and like his eldest half brother named William after his famous Massachusetts Puritan ancestor, may have studied as a minister.
It is not known exactly how Rev. Tompson, then 77, managed to organize the funds to reopen the doors.
By 1820, though, the community was changing. South Berwick had become a separate town in 1814, and a new commercial center was developing along our present-day Main and Portland Streets, which formed part of a stagecoach route linking Boston and Portland.
"On April 10, 1824," writes church historian Colburn, "it is recorded with a sense of dismay that 'various other Societies have risen up among us which have greatly reduced our numbers and our resources, and so small is our number and so remote are most of us from the place of worship, that our average congregation does not usually exceed fifty individuals.'" Worship services began to be held at Berwick Academy, closer to the population center, where Tompson, now 84, had been president for 21 years.

Old Berwick Historical Society - William Allen Tompson (c. 1786-1835), Berwick Academy preceptor [cached]

Their father, Rev. John Tompson, had been pastor of the nearby First Parish Congregational Church just before it was built in 1826.

William Allen Tompson's father, Rev. John Tompson, was minister of the First Parish Congregational Church, then located at today's Brattle Street and Old South Road.
In 1825 Rev. John Tompson retired after 22 years as Berwick Academy's president, but his son-in-law, Edward Hayman of Vine Street, continued as treasurer.
In 1826 Rev. John Tompson's new meetinghouse (the present First Parish Federated Church), was built near William Tompson's house.

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