The history of New London, Connecticut is a rather interesting tale. In the 1650s, the colonists in New London wanted to give their town the official name of London after London, England, however, because of its picturesque location on Long Island Sound, the Connecticut General Assembly wanted to name it Faire Harbour instead. The legislature eventually relented and New London was officially named on March 10, 1658. The city’s success as a major port for whaling and commerce grew over several hundred years. The continued prosperity of the city led prominent members of New London to establish a meeting place for business and relaxation, and the Thames Club was born.
The Thames Club was founded in 1869. At its peak, the club boasted over 400 members and hosted some of the most prestigious social events in New London. The fortunes of private social clubs rise and fall with the economic times and social spirit of the cities that host them. The Thames Club has remained a fixture of New London’s social scene for many years by changing with the times while respecting traditional values and welcoming members from all over southeastern Connecticut and beyond. The circa 1905 clubhouse at 290 State Street remains a fine example of the architecture and the availability of skilled craftsmen of that era.
Today, the Thames Club is a symbol of New London’s rich history and enduring social vitality. Though it has changed over the years, it remains an important social hub in the community, bringing together people from all walks of life to celebrate, socialize, and form lasting bonds. There is a reawakening of “gathering” and meeting new and old friends, a refreshing change after the long period of sheltering for the past few years. The Thames Club is the perfect welcoming place to do just that.
Whether you’re local, have students here in the city, or just visiting New London for the first time, we invite you to come experience the magic of the Thames Club for yourself! We would love to meet you.