Alice Ramsdell

Alice Ramsdell was one of Thompson, Connecticut’s most historically significant and colorful figures. As a member of one of Thompson’s oldest families, a town historian, a member of the Thomson Historical Society and curator of the Tourtellotte Memorial Room (Museum), she kept the vibrant history of Thompson, Connecticut alive and well until she passed in 1994.

After the devastating floods of 1936, 1938 and 1955, her home village of West Thompson was acquired by the federal government to construct a massive, and desperately-needed dam across the Quinebaug River. Alice resisted. Her fight, her “old-Yankee character,” and the stories she shared about our history, has become legendary.

In 1985, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, under the direction of Thames River Basin Operations Manager, Robert Hanacek, documented Alice’s stories and her description of West Thompson in this six-tape series. Those tapes have been digitized and it is with the U.S. Army’s Corp of Engineer’s permission we are now able to share them.