Gabriel M. Garabedian, founder of Thorndike Mills, came to Massachusetts in 1917 at age 15, alone and unable to speak English. He left behind his native Armenia to settle in Boston, where he competed for menial jobs and attended night school. In 1925, he decided to build on his earlier experience in basic textile manufacturing and began a small business in a Boston cellar making hand-loomed rag rugs for local distribution. Just as success appeared imminent, the Great Depression took its toll and forced the business to close.
In 1933, he moved to Thorndike, Massachusetts (a village of Palmer, Massachusetts) and founded the G.M. Garabedian Company, which evolved into Thorndike Mills. Two years after moving to Thorndike, Gabriel married Mary Babaian and the two 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.
Today, Thorndike Mills melds the techniques of yesteryear with modern day technology. Using only the highest quality new cloth material or yarn-spun fabric, Thorndike Mills creates authentic reproductions of Colonial Americana, as well as designs to complement today's country décor with their original heirloom quality braided rugs. The business is carried on with pride and dedication by Mitchell, Margaret, Edward and Anna, the second generation of Garabedians; and Karen and Janice of the third generation.