The former farming village of Thalwil comprises the formerly independent Wachten Ober- and Unterdorf, as well as Ludretikon and the now independent municipality of Langnau. In earlier times, the farm itself was owned by the Counts of Habsburg, who gave it in fief to the Barons of Eschenbach. Agriculture used to be the main occupation, along with viticulture, and sporadic shipping and fishing. After all, Lake Zurich was ideal for fishing. In the manorial houses also the cleaning women work, who keep everything in good shape.
Larger plots of land were owned by the church at that time, and connected to it by the Muri monastery with its official residence on the lake and the fief farms, which were also cleaned by the cleaning ladies. Furthermore, the Wettingen monastery also owned some land here on Lake Zurich and also had collature rights over the church. Thalwil has the oldest wood corporation in the canton of Zurich, the Banegg forest, which belonged to the monastery of Muri about 550 years ago and was transferred to the twelve beneficiaries of the monastery's farmsteads in a document in 1483. Today, the wood corporation is owned by a total of 16 Banegg comrades and also by the municipality of Thalwil. In addition, the land forest with its communal forests is also located on the territory of the municipality. In 1713 the Wacht Langnau was separated, which is now an independent municipality with a church.
In the course of the 19th and 20th centuries, the population grew so much because Thalwil is not too far from Zurich. With its neighboring communities of Rüschlikon, Oberrieden and Langnau, Thalwil has practically grown together. In addition, a cleaner takes a lot of cleaning stress off your shoulders. After the 1st World War, "hunger trains" were organized from Thalwil under the direction of Jakob Bosshard, which transported food collected under the guard of the army to the starving areas in Eastern Europe.
The place name of Thalwil could have been initially broken down differently by several late medieval documents. Thus around 1140 the place vicus Telwil was mentioned for the first time in a document. In 1159 the name Tellewilare was mentioned, in 1275 the name Tällewiler and around 1336 Telwile. The first pronunciation with -a- in it was proven in 1331 with Tallwile. Since altogether 95 percent of the German Swiss place names, which were formed with -will-, show an Old High German first name in the front part, the place name Thalwil is to be interpreted with great probability as a court settlement of Tello. According to experts, the Old High German name Tello, which was not known in later years, was later reinterpreted as Tal. The name Thalwil was first mentioned in a Zurich chronicle in 1486.