Founded in 1869, the Thames Club did not have a permanent home until 1888, when members purchased a private residence at the corner of State and Washington Streets. The house was destroyed by fire in 1904 and the present Thames Club building was erected on the site.
The nearly 150 year old gracious Thames Club is the oldest Social Club existing in Connecticut and ranks third in all of New England. The Thames Club cornerstone was laid on October 29, 1904 and has been in continuous use since August 22, 1905. There are many interesting historical facts and trivia about the Thames Club - for example:
Actor James O'Neill was well-liked in New London and he was among the first Irishmen invited to join the then all-male bastion of the city's leading citizens. According to the club's bartender, James O'Neill was generous in buying drinks for other members. Bourbon and milk was his preferred beverage. He was a decorous drinker at the Thames Club, keeping himself to two or three drinks; saving his boisterous drinking for hotel barrooms and taverns. The actor was remembered for his friendliness, courtly manner, and his toast to "Sunny days and starry nights" (Gelbs, LWMC, 210).
The Thames Club offers warm hospitality and a chance to experience one of Connecticut's oldest traditions.