Thompson’s opened for business in January of 1908 as Thompson’s Hardware Co. Inc. Mr. T.C. Thompson was the original owner. He was born in Williams County near Georgetown. His parents had come from Copenhagen, Denmark to Louisiana and from there to Lexington, Texas. In 1890 they moved to the Panhandle with their 11 children, 5 boys and 6 girls. One of their prized possessions was a chandelier which had been brought over from Denmark and which hung in their home for many years and was hung as a store fixture in the China and Gift Shop in later years. It is now hung in the home of a great grandson in Dallas.
In 1929 the store letterhead read: “Dealers in Shelf and Heavy Hardware, Furniture, Rugs & Floor Coverings, Undertaking, Implements of All Kinds, Windmills, Pumps, Harness’, Saddles, Ranges, etc.” The Implements referred to were all likely, at this time, to be manual or horse drawn, since the mechanized era of farming had not yet arrived. When tractors and combines and other mechanized farm equipment were introduced, the store had the International Harvester Co. McCormic-Deering dealership for many years until 1945 when it was sold. The “Undertaking” referred to was a Funeral Home acquired in the 1920’s in partnership with N.S. Griggs and Sons of Amarillo. The present Brooks Funeral Directors of Canyon building was originally built and operated by Thompson’s. The building and business was sold in 1943 and has been remodeled and expanded since then by other owners. The “Saddles” reference indicates that the store had their own saddle shop and saddle maker.
In 1934 the letterhead read: Shelf and Heavy Hardware, Furniture, Implements, Funeral Directors.
In 1945 the letterhead read: Hardware, Furniture, Decorative Accessories, and Implements.
In 1967 the letterhead read: Furniture, Housewares, and Gift Shop. In 1966 the hardware department was closed out with a liquidation sale.
In 1988 the letterhead “would” have read: Thompson’s of Canyon, Inc. doing business as Thompson’s China and Gift Shop. On January 4, 1988 all of the merchandise, fixtures and tools were sold to Tracy and Rhett Ragsdale along with the right to use the store name if they chose to do so.
In January of 2011, Melissa and Jason Wright purchased the business renaming it Thompson’s Gift Shop, LLC. They are very excited and proud to be able to own and run a business that has such a rich history in the town of Canyon. After purchasing they closed the store for several weeks and with the help of the building owners, Danny and Linda Anderson, completely remodeled the inside of the building. The ceiling was painted red to showcase the original tin ceiling. The original hardwood floors were discovered under layers of vinyl and carpet. Danny and Linda spent countless hours refinishing them. A new chandelier was ordered and installed to replicate the prized original one. All the original cabinetry and fixtures were completely restored and painted black. The goal of the remodel was to bring as much of the original aspects back and add a touch of modern elegance to the space. They reopened on March 7, 2011.
Their key goals for the store include:
- Provide top notch customer service that will create a desire for repeat purchases
- Provide high quality merchandise at a reasonable price
- Create a store atmosphere that is enjoyable for the customers
- Have a knowledgeable staff that is familiar with the bridal/baby/décor industry
- Be able to give back to the community