Oscar Cornelius Thayer, a builder and stone manufacturer originally
from Vermont, commissioned the construction of this home in 1861.
Thayer lived in the home for two years and sold it to Victory Marion
Thompson in 1863. At a young age, Thompson manufactured washboards
while attending the old Erie Academy. In 1848, at the age of nineteen,
Thompson sold his washboard business and bought a canal boat, which he
sailed on the Erie Extension Canal for three years. While attending
Meadville College, he started the “Thompson Line,” which consisted of
sixteen canal boats that sailed on the Erie Extension Canal. In the
midst of this investment, he also operated a coal yard on West Eighth
Street. At the time Thompson purchased this house, he had become a
wealthy oil dealer through his investments at Drake’s Well in
Titusville, Pennsylvania. Thompson later owned and operated the Erie
City Oil Works, one of the earliest refineries in the United States.
Upon Thompson’s death in 1887, O.C. Thayer, who built this home,
purchased Erie City Oil Works, and later sold it to the Atlantic
Refinery Company. The Thompson family owned the home until 1940, when
it was purchased and renovated into five apartment units. In 1972, the
property was purchased and restored to preserve its architectural
integrity. The Thompson-Thayer house was placed on the National
Register of Historic Places in 1985. Despite this designation, in 2016,
the property is vacant and in need of repair and restoration.