May 16, 1683: Land grant given to Sir Robert Thompson by the King of England. He sent his 5 children over to settle the land; he actually never came to Thompson. The ancient stonewalls are still here that marked off the land grant from the King of England, and thus started the agricultural legacy that continues today on the Fort Hill Farms property.
The name "Fort Hill Farms" was coined in 1889 when John Doane, of The Chicago & Pacific Union Railroad, came to Thompson, and consolidated the 5 parcels back under one owner, to start a dairy farm. His friend came to visit him, and said "I like Thompson; I want to build a house here." He was Bruce Ream, the founder of U.S. Steel, who built what is now known as Marianapolis Prep School. Together, Ream & Doane brought in Italian stone masons and paid them $.05/day to build the famous stonewalls which are at Quinnatisset Golf Course, and which were "uncovered" from bittersweet and poison ivy at Fort Hill Farms.
When the Orr's cleared off the stonewalls at Fort Hill Farms, they found a 350-foot-long barn foundation, 12-feet high, which was in pristine shape. Not a stone had to be replaced, save for a wall that was along the road, from which stones had been stolen.
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