At the age of 15, our father, Gabriel M. Garabedian, was forced to flee his homeland of Armenia due to the first mass genocide of the Twentieth Century. Completely alone and without family, he found his way to America in 1917 and settled in Boston, Massachusetts. Unable to speak English, Gabriel attended night school and gratefully worked any job available in order to survive and pursue his “American Dream”.
During his youth, Gabriel had some experience in basic textile manufacturing. In 1925, he decided to use his experience to start a small business in a Boston cellar making hand loomed rag rugs for local distribution. Just when it seemed that success was certain, the “Great Depression” took its toll and he had to cease operations. Once again, Gabriel reverted to whatever work he could find to pay his debts and save to restart his business.
In 1933 he moved to Thorndike, Massachusetts (a village of Palmer, Massachusetts) and founded the G.M. Garabedian Company, which evolved into Thorndike Mills, presently a Division of T.M.I. Industries, Inc.
Upon marriage to our mother, Mary Babaian in 1935, our parents worked side by side building their successful business. Over the years their small company evolved from hand loomed to machine fabricated rugs, to become the only commercial manufacturer today of true “cloth” constructed braided rugs in the world.
To grow the business even further, Thorndike Mills acquired many smaller, but significant, competitors. The acquisition of E.J. Martin of Southbridge, Massachusetts created Martin Importing Co., a Division of T.M.I. Industries, Inc. Martin Importing then became the operating company to import hand hooked rugs from the Far East.
It is with great pride and unwavering dedication to the vision of our parents that we continue the tradition of quality and excellence in braided rug manufacturing.
Mitchell, Margaret, Edward and Anna – 2nd Generation Karen and Janice – 3rd Generation
Thorndike Mills This division of T.M.I. Industries manufactures their entire collection of braided rugs in historic New England under the “Bay Colony” label.
Our modern facility was built and equipped to produce the finest quality machine made braided rugs that most closely replicates the look and performance value that our forefathers created.
The primary component to the creation of a true quality product is the use of new raw material, made to the strict specifications of the Thorndike standard of excellence. Thorndike features “cloth” constructed braided rugs, our premier product, which are exclusively distributed through a network of authorized dealers.
If you are interested in a Thorndike Mills rug not shown on our website please call 1 (800) 275-7020 for our low competitive pricing.