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Building was, however, impeded by the scarcity of building lots, the north part of the hill being included in the Watson estate, which was not thrown into market till after the death of Widow Samuel Watson in 1813. Dow supplied a large constituency with tasteful and fashionable millinery. All these business enterprises found convenient financial accommodation in the Thompson Bank, incorporated in 1833.The north end of the hill was then purchased by George Larned, Esq., and laid out in building lots, he himself occupying the Watson house (now Judge Rawson’s) as a dwelling house and law office. The year preceding Thompson had the enterprise to purchase a jaunty little fire engine, run by an efficient company.Captain Joel Taylor built several houses east of the tavern, on the Providence turnpike, the first of which was long occupied by Obadiah Stone. Theodore Dwight made a most acceptable landlord in the new turnpike tavern; Mr. Rum was sold without restriction in all the stores and taverns. Residents of neighboring factories sought supplies of needful articles and luxuries at its well-filled stores, now conducted by Messrs. This was soon succeeded by a Weekly Bulletin, but neither was able to support existence.A small house nearly opposite was put together by Simon Davis, Esq. A house-warming frolic, in which all these business men and leading citizens indulged in great excesses, called out Mr. Fixing his eye upon the offenders with most scathing rebuke, he thundered out the scriptural queries” Who hath woe? They were followed by The Windham County Gazette, published by another newspaper celebrity, the J. Chapman who was ordered ” to crow ” in the Tippecanoe campaign.All this building, together with the teaming and stage coaches, made the hill very lively. His newspaper lingered for several years, but collapsed in 1837 with many kindred enterprises.One of Thompson’s chief notabilities in these booming years was ” the Stiles Tavern,” claiming that more stage passengers dined there every day than at any other house in New England.His bar room was the headquarters of the democratic party, and his spacious hall the scene of many a festive entertainment.On the opposite site a house was speedily built by Hezekiah Olney. Noadiah Comins built the house adjoining southward, and Doctor James Webb a third house (now occupied by Mrs. The site below was soon filled by the old meeting house transformed into a town house, and the nucleus of the present tavern was put up on the corner by Stephen E. Doctor Webb left town before completing his house, and was followed by Doctor Horatio Holbrook, who built on the north side of the street, adjoining Esquire Larned’s. Mills were largely patronized, as nothing in the line of ready-made clothing could then be procured. Among other innovations, the newspaper came to Thompson hill.
But when it was found that two lines of turnpike were to intersect upon the hill, new life sprang up.The Joseph Watson house, Wickham’s store and Keith’s tavern were built before 1800, and soon after that date several houses were erected, especially upon the east side of the Providence turnpike. Baldwin, James Hutchins, Danforth Kinney and Walter Bates opened shops for carriages and furniture making.