King's Pocket-book of Providence, RI
from "King's Pocket-book of Providence, R.I." Moses King, Cambridge, Mass., 1882 Tibbitts, Shaw & Co., Providence, RI
The interesting and most important public features of the City of Providence, Rhode Island, in 1882
KING'S POCKET-BOOK OF PROVIDENCE - C
Copyright, 1882, by Moses King.
CALEDONIAN CLUB, THE PROVIDENCE, was org. in July, 1879, by a few seceding members of the Caledonian Society (mentioned below) and others. The membership is small.
CALEDONIAN SOCIETY, THE PROVIDENCE, is an org. of Scotchmen numbering over 50 members, formed for the purpose of keeping alive an interest in the customs and observances of their native land. Its rooms at 142 Westminster St. are opened Saturday evenings for social converse and enjoyment; business meetings are held first and third Wednesdays in each month. The society hold their 'Scotch Games' annually at Rocky Point, and many members of the org. and invited guests may then be seen in Highland costume. Sick members receive benefits of $5.00 a week, and assessments are made on the death of a member for the benefit of his family. Jas. Wallace, sec'y.
CALENDER STREET runs from Fountain to Mason St., and is named from the Prov. Dyeing, Bleaching, and Calendering Co.
CALENDER-STREET FIRE was a lamentable calamity which occurred bet. 10 and 11 o'clock A. M., Nov. 22, 1882, and caused the death of four persons and the serious injury of nearly a score of others. The fire took place in the Calender Building, cor. Calender and Mason Sts., a four-story brick structure owned by the Slater Mill and Power Co. It started on the third floor, in the workroom of the 'Le Jolly Dye House', by the ignition of naphtha, then being used in cleansing garments; the ignition occurring it is supposed, from the portable stove of a plumber who was making repairs. In the fourth floor was W. H. Robinson's jewelry shop, where about 30 persons, male and female, were employed, among whom were those injured or killed. The firemen were somehow unable to render aid in saving life, and the hero of the fire was Christian Timman, a German, about 40 years old, employed as a truck-man. Mounting a ladder which reached but a short distance above the top of the third-story windows, he supported himself on the topmost rounds, and, taking hold of a telegraph-wire, he dexterously managed to bring two girls from a fourth-story window safely to the ground.
CALLENDER, McAUSLAN, & TROUP occupy one of the best business blocks in New England, and carry on the largest wholesale and retail dry-goods business in this State. Their record is most remarkable: only sixteen years ago they began in this city, under the same name and with just the same partners as at present; but they have demonstrated the possibility of acquiring an honorable reputation and an ample fortune simply by means of upright dealing, industry, and thorough knowledge in one's calling. The three partners, Walter Callender, John McAuslan, and John E. Troup, were born in Scotland; and all have been engaged their whole lifetime in this one line of business. By reason of their ability, and devotion to their work, they set out on what has ever since been an uninterrupted success. In 1866 they began in Low's Building, then standing on Westminster St.; but in about seven years they had outgrown their premises, and had accumulated the means of building for themselves their present attractive new block, expressly constructed for their business, on Westminster St., on the site of the once familiar brick stone-lined First Universalist Church with its unique wooden steeple. At first their new building was large enough to accommodate them on the first two floors, while the upper part was rented for offices and other uses. But the business constantly developed, and gradually all the other occupants made way for the requirements of the firm. And even then, only four years after the building was erected, an addition had to be made of about the same dimensions as the original building. A short time afterward an addition was made for offices and sample-rooms. And now the firm occupy solely for their business the whole structure familiar to every one who ever visited Providence. It is a splendid specimen of mercantile architecture, and was designed by Gen. William R. Walker. The main building is 96 by 60 feet, practically five stories high; and the addition is about the same dimensions, three stories high, giving a total floor surface of nearly 50,000 sq. ft. The rooms are exceedingly lofty, well-lighted, and admirably ventilated. Every convenience is provided for conducting this extensive business, which consists of the innumerable lines of goods which are to be found in the modern wholesale and retail dry-goods establishment. Early in the career of the firm, the people of Providence and vicinity gained the impression that the partners were from Boston, and consequently spoke of the establishment as the 'Boston Store', a name which the firm was compelled to adopt, and the people have always adhered to. There are nearly 250 persons in the employ of the firm; and they appear to be better paid, and better satisfied with their work, than are the employees of most establishments in the same and kindred lines of trade. The members of the firm, too, in spite of their rapid success, have never lost sight of their obligations as members of society, and citizens of this country; all of then having early and constantly been identified with various social, literary, religious, political, and other associations for the benefit of some part of the community.
CAMP STREET, at the N. end of the city, takes its name from the old camp-ground occupied by the French soldiers in 1798, nr. what is now the cor. of Camp and North Sts. Traces of the excavations are still visible.
CANAL STREET extends from Market Sq. to Smith St., and is chiefly occupied by wholesale and retail dealers in groceries, meats, and produce. The southern end of the street was established Feb. 19, 1792, under the name of North Water St.; but until 1814 it extended only to Steeple St. From that time until 1825, the warehouse lots north of Steeple St. were gradually filled in; and in January, 1825, the street was opened as a public highway to its present extent. The Blackstone Canal Co. widened the street shortly afterwards, and then it received its present name. The canal ran along the west side of the street, where a portion of the walled-up banks may yet be seen.
CANONCHET, known also as Nanuntenoo or Quananshett, a noted chieftain of the Narragansetts, of whom he was the last sachem. He espoused the cause of of King Philip, and was incessantly and bitterly hostile to the settlers. He could not be persuaded to surrender, or to betray his tribe. Irving said of him, 'The last scene of his life is one of the noblest instances on record of Indian magnanimity'. When he was condemned to die, he said, 'I like it well: I shall die before my heart is soft, or I have said any thing unworthy of myself.'
CANONICUS [1565-1647], the eldest of four sons of Tashtassuck, the first of the recorded chiefs of the Narragansett tribe of Indians. He lived on Conanicut Island, and was a warm friend of Roger Williams, to whom he made the grant of the 'Providence Plantations'. He maintained friendly and peaceful relations with the early settlers.
CARPENTER'S GOLD AND SILVER REFINING, Assaying, and Sweep-smelting Works is a representative establishment of a leading industry in Providence. In a three-story brick building at Nos. 29 and 31 Page St., the interesting processes of refining and assaying gold and silver are carried on the year round. The smelting of 'sweeps' seems a peculiar business, but nevertheless it is an important one. Mr. Carpenter alone, for instance, works over every day about a ton of seeming rubbish, which has been swept up or gathered from establishments using gold or silver in any form. These 'sweepings' are made by jewellers in filing and polishing jewelry; binders, in golding edges and covers of books; frame-makers, in making frames; photographers, in printing photographs; gold-beaters, in hammering gold-leaf; dentists, in filling teeth; platers, in plating table-ware, cutlery, etc. Out of this seeming rubbish, by grinding, sifting, heating, and various other processes, is obtained whatever precious metal, however small the quantity, it contains; and this usually amounts to considerable in value, although the product is but a minute particle of the quantity worked over. This smelting is done usually on a percentage of the value of the product; and the establishments which send their sweepings here are not only those in the city, but hundreds of firms scattered throughout the United States and British America. Horace F. Carpenter, the proprietor of the works, is an old resident of Providence, and a scientific-school graduate, in the class of 1860, of Brown University, where he ranked high as a chemist. For upwards of 20 years he has devoted himself to this business, and for the past 10 years has been sole proprietor of these works.
CASINO, THE, Brook St., cor. Manning St., is a frame building with an iron-covered hip roof, just completed for the Providence Tennis Club, a society which embraces a number of wealthy citizens. It comprises a main building and three wings. The building proper is about 45 ft. high, with a concreted floor 95 ft. sq., divided into two 'tennis-courts'. One wing contains a bowling alley, the second is an archery-court, the other furnishes a spectators' gallery for the tennis-hall.
CATHEDRAL OF SS. PETER AND PAUL, High St., cor. Fenner. This magnificent edifice, the corner-stone of which was laid with all the pomp and ceremony of the Romish Church, Nov. 28, 1878, will require at least two years more for its completion. It is on the site of a church of the same name, is in the Gothic style, cruciform, with nave, transept, and clerestory, and is constructed of red Longmeadow stone, rough-faced. The total length of the building is 170 ft.; width at the transept, 122 ft. The nave is 50 ft. wide and 74 ft. wide; the side aisles are each 10 ft. wide. There are two towers in front, each 156 ft. high, eventually to be crowned by spires. The interior space of the cathedral is unbroken except by the two rows of white marble clustered columns which support the clerestory. The vaulted roof is of oak, stained and polished. Over the front entrance is the organ gallery. There are four large rose-windows, one at either end of nave and transept; these as well as the smaller windows, are as yet without decoration, but it is the intention to fill them with richly stained glass. P. C. Keely of Brooklyn is the building architect, T. E. Read of New York contractor; A. G. Macomber of Providence furnished the mason-work of the exterior, and A. McDermott of Boston that of the interior. The estimated cost of the building and land is $500,000.
CATHOLICS. -- This city is in the diocese of Providence, which, in 1872, was set off from that of Hartford, and which embraces the State of Rhode Island, and that part of Massachusetts comprised within Bristol, Barnstable, and part of Plymouth Counties, together with Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, and adjacent islands. The first priest regularly stationed in Providence was in 1827 (see First Roman Catholic Priest). His congregation was not more than 200. They first worshipped in Mechanics' Hall, and for several years afterward in the 'Old Town House'. SS. Peter and Paul Church was erected in 1837. Rt. Rev. T. F. Hendricken was consecrated first bishop of Providence in April 28, 1872. In the city are 11 churches, 2 chapels, 7 convents or religious institutions, 1 orphan-asylum, 5 academies, and 6 parochial schools. See Churches, Roman-Catholic, and also Academies.
CATHOLIC PAROCHIAL SCHOOLS. -- In SS. Peter and Paul Parish there are 2 schools, both common to boys and girls, -- Lime-st. School, about 350 pupils; South-st., about 200 pupils. These schools are conducted by the Sisters of Mercy, and are preparatory for pupils intending to enter either La Salle or St. Xavier Academy. Adjoining St. Patrick's Church on Smith Hill, is another school for boys and girls, also conducted by the Sisters of Mercy, 650 pupils. Adjoining the Church of the Immaculate Conception, West River St., is a school for boys and girls, and an academy for girls, both conducted by Sisters of Charity. Near St. Mary Church, Broadway, is an academy for girls, both conducted by the Ursuline nuns. Adjoining St. Joseph Church, the Sisters of Mercy conduct a school for girls, 400 pupils. See Academies.
CATHOLIC RELIGIOUS ORDERS. -- Sisters of Mercy, convent on Claverick St., c. of Broad.The sisters of this order have charge of the parochial schools on Lime St., South St., Smith's Hill, and the one adjoining St. Joseph Church, Hope St.; of the ophan-asylum, Prairie Av.; and also of St. Xavier and Bay View Academies.
Sisters of Charity, convent on West River St., where they have charge of a school and an academy.
Ursuline Nuns, convent on Broadway, near St. Mary's Church. They manage the academy and school adjoining.
Ladies of the Sacred Heart, convent at Elmhurst, where they conduct the Academy of the Sacred Heart.
Christian Brothers, 119 Fountain St., conduct the La Salle Academy.
Jesuit Fathers, in charge of St. Joseph Church, Hope St.
Little Sisters of the Poor, c. Slocum and High, whose work is the care and attendance upon the sick, aged, and poor.
CAT SWAMP, so called as early as 1668, is a piece of marshy land in the rear of the Friends' School grounds, at the head of Tabor Av. It is a picturesque spot, and, by reason of certain varieties of wild flowers found here, is a favorite resort of botanists. In cold weather, part of the swamp is frozen sufficiently smooth to permit skating on its surface.
CECILIA SOCIETY, org. 1879. Under its auspices, a course of chamber-concerts is given during the winter at Amateur Dramatic Hall. It has only 100 members, each paying $10 a year, which entitles the subscriber to four tickets for every concert. The limited membership gives a semi-private character to the entertainments.
CEMETERIES AND BURIAL-GROUNDS. Bishops' Cemetery. See new Catholic Cemetery.
Grace-Church Cemetery, incorporated in 1840, is a triangular piece of ground, lying bet. Broad and Greenwich Sts., and Trinity Sq. It is under the directorship of the Vestry of Grace Church. Visitors admitted daily. Emwood or Broad-st. H. C.
Jewish Burying-Ground, Reservoir Av., is a neatly arranged burial place. It was re-dedicated Sept. 10, 1882.
Locust-Grove Cemetery, in Elmwood, bet. Greenwich and Melrose Sts. Elmwood H. C.
New Catholic or St. Francis' Cemetery, also known as the Bishop's Cemetery, Smithfield Av., just within the Pawtucket line, contains 80 acres.
North Burial-Ground, Sexton St., nr. North Main St., is on land set apart by the town, about 1700, for 'a training-field, burying-ground, and other public uses.' Parts of it are very beautiful, particularly the western portion, where the land falls off towards the Moshassuck River. Some of the most noteworthy memorials are those erected by the John Carter Brown, Hall, Markland, and Webb families. The remains of Stephen Hopkins, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, rest here. The receiving-tomb in the cemetery is 90 ft. long, 11 ft. wide. Visitors admitted daily. Pawtucket H. C.
Oakland Cemetery, Broad St., in the town of Cranston, just beyond the city line. The portion not deeded to lot-owners is the property of one individual, N. M. Briggs. It contains over 20 acres, simply but tastefully laid out. Broad-st. or Pawtuxet H. C.
Old Catholic or St. Patrick's Cemetery, Douglas Av., opposite Bailey St., is about 10 acres in extent. No new lots can now be purchased.
Riverside Cemetery, Swan-Point Road, just beyond Swan-Point Cemetery, and within the limits of the town of Pawtucket. This place of sepulture belongs to the Riverside Burial-Society, an association incorporated in 1874. It contains upwards of 50 acres of land, sloping in a gradual and picturesque manner toward the Seekonk River. Governor-st. H. C.
St. Francis Cemetery. See New Catholic Cemetery.
St. John's Church Burial Ground adjoins the church edifice on the N.
St. Patrick's Cemetery. See Old Catholic Cemetery.
Swan Point Cemetery (E. side), on the Seekonk River, bet. the Butler Hospital grounds and Riverside Cemetery. It is a beautiful spot, containing about 200 acres of land, tastefully laid out and adorned with shrubbery, flower-beds, fountains, etc. There are many elegant and costly monuments within the enclosure, noticeably those belonging to the Abell, Barnaby, Billings, Nightingale, Sayles, and Sprague estates. The remains of Gen. Burnside were interred in this ground Sept. 16, 1881 (three days after death). Visitors admitted daily, including Sundays. Governor-st., H. C., and connecting coach.
West Burial-Ground, cor. Plane and Beacon Sts., is no longer a place of interment. A portion of the ground was converted a few years since into house-lots, while the remainder has been left in a neglected and disgraceful condition.
Besides these, there are numerous small private burial-grounds, within or near the city limits.
CENTRAL BAPTIST CHURCH, THE, society was organized in 1805. A church building was erected on Pine St. in 1807, which was destroyed Sept. 23, 1815; but a new edifice was immediately erected. The present church edifice, at the junc. of Broad and High Sts.,. was completed in 1857, at a cost of about $65,000. Extensive alterations in the church building were made in 1882. The organ was enlarged, and transferred from a gallery over the vestibule to a corresponding gallery at the rear of the church and just behind the pulpit platform. New seats in an amphitheatrical form were put into the main auditorium, extensive improvements made in the lecture-room, and the whole building generally renovated. Members, 500. The pastor is Richard Montague.
CENTRAL BRIDGE, or 'Red Bridge' as it is better known from its color, crosses the Seekonk River, connecting Providence with E. Providence. It is an iron bridge, 390 ft. in length, constructed in 1872, with a draw operated by hand-power. It supersedes a plane wooden structure, also painted red, which stood here for many years. Distance from Market Square, 1 1/2 miles.
CENTRAL CONG. CHURCH, Benefit nr. College St., is a large brick edifice, with an imposing freestone front surmounted by two towers. It was consecrated in the autumn of 1852. A fine Roosevelt organ of three manuals of 58 notes each and a pedal of 27 notes, 51 stops, and 2,374 pipes (with spaces for 116 more) was dedicated to the uses of the society April 4, 1882.
CHARITABLE FUEL SOCIETY, THE PROVIDENCE, assists worthy persons who are temporarily in want. It has been in existence over 50 years, and distributes annually between $4,000 and $5,000 worth of fuel to those who need its aid. Robert B. Chambers, sec'y.
CHARITY BUILDING, 3 N. Court St., is a plain wooden structure, where temporary relief is furnished to the destitute. Only women and children lodge there; but meals are given to both sexes, on orders of the Overseer of the Poor. Able-bodied men applying for food are required to work at the City Wood-Yard before obtaining it. Lodgings for the men are provided at the police-station. Those who desire to earn their passage to a given destination are furnished work enough for this purpose.
CHEAPSIDE was an old-time district wherein located the principal dry-goods stores. It was famous with the young ladies all over the State, fifty years ago. It comprised the part of the present N. Main St. that is in the vicinity of Market Sq.
CHEMISTS' AND DRUG CLERKS' ASSOCIATION, THE RHODE ISLAND, formed March 7, 1882, holds monthly meetings for discussion, and transaction of business, at its rooms, 128 N. Main St. O. D. Ballert, sec'y.
CHERUSKA LODGE OF HARUGARI. See German Secret Societies.
CHESTNUT-ST. M. E. CHURCH, erected in 1822, cor. Clifford and Chestnut Sts., is the oldest of its denomination in the city. The first house of the society stood on Aborn St., cor. Washington, and was dedicated in 1816. Its steeple was once blown down, but was rebuilt and improved in appearance.
CHICKEN-FOOT ALLEY is the suggestive name applied to the combination of three short and narrow lanes, leading from South Main Street to S. Water St., nr. Transit St. It is crowded with old and dilapidated tenement-houses.
CHILDREN'S FRIEND SOCIETY. See Children's Home.
CHILDREN'S HOME, Tobey St., was built in 1863, under the auspices of the Prov. Children's Friend Soc., which was org. in 1835, through the efforts of the late Harriet Ware 'to provide for the support and education of the indigent children, not otherwise provided for, and who for want of parental care are in a suffering or dangerous condition'. Since the formation, 1,300 children have received its care. For several years the 'Home' was at the cor. of Broad and Stewart Sts. The present spacious and confortable brick building has 64 inmates, while 30 children under the charge of the society are placed out in families. The institution is supported by contributions from the various churches, and by the income derived from investment of legacies, bequests, and donations.
CHIMES, GRACE CHURCH. The only set of chimes in the city is that belonging to Grace Church. These bells, 16 in number, were hung March 30, 1861, and played for the first time on the following day, Easter Sunday. They were donated by various individuals and corporations, whose names they bear, including two military organizations: the First Light Infantry and the Marine Corps of Artillery. The Infantry bell was given with the condition that the chimes should always be rung on Sept. 10, the anniversary of the battle of Lake Erie, or 'Perry's Victory'. The bells are also rung on all national holidays.
CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATIONS. See Young Men's Christian Asso'n, and Women's Christian Asso'n.
CHURCHES. There are 77 church edifices in Providence and nearly 90 societies meeting for religious worship. The following is a complete list of the churches and their pastors, arranged alphabetically by denominations: --
African Methodist Episcopal.
CHURCHILL MEMORIAL FUND was established in 1881, under the auspices of the Rhode Island Women's Club, which desired to testify by some enduring memorial its sorrow for the loss of Mrs. Elizabeth K. Churchill, who died March 7, 1881, and its grateful appreciation, not only of her enthusiastic devotion to the intersts of the Club, but of her entire life-work, which was an unceasing effort to right wrongs, and help on in every way the truest welfare of others. The income of the Fund is expended in the interest of the working women of Providence, under the direction of the officers of the R. I. Women's Club, and thus far has been appropriated for a course of lectures to women of this class, a work started in 1880 by Mrs. Churchill. These lectures, for which a nominal fee is asked, consist of practical talks on the various concerns of daily life, and cannot fail to be of use to those who lack proper training for the accomplishment of everyday duties and for prompt action in sudden emergencies.
CINCINNATI, RHODE ISLAND SOCIETY OF, org. in 1783 and chartered in 1814, was formed to preserve in some permanent form a record of those early patriots who were engaged in the struggle for American independence. The society was composed of 71 original members, chiefly army officers,whose descendants inherited the right of membership. A portion of the hereditary members, about 25, met in December, 1877, and org. with the purpose of imbuing new life and vigor into the society. Sec'y, Henry E. Turner, M.D., Newport.
CITY BUILDING (new). - See City Hall.
CITY BUILDING (old), Market Sq., built, by lottery, for a market-house in 1773. Third story added by St. John's Lodge (Masonic) in 1797. The building was gradually absorbed for municipal purposes, and afforded cramped accommodation for the various city offices until their removal to the new City Hall in 1878. The building is leased for a term of ten years from Jan. 1, 1880, to the Board of Trade.
CITY GOVERNMENT is vested in a mayor, 10 aldermen, and 40 councilmen, chosen by 10 wards. Annual election in November. Offices for the most part in City Hall, Dorrance St., at the head of Exchange Pl.
CITY HALL, a magnificent granite building in the Renaissance style, erected at a cost of $1,034,000, on the sq. bounded by Dorrance, Washington, Eddy, and Fulton Sts. Here most of the departments of the City government have their offices. The excavation of the lot began Oct. 19, 1874; corner-stone laid June 24, 1875; dedicated Nov. 14, 1878. The building is very complete in its appointments, and is open to the public from 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. (Saturdays, 9 A.M. to 3 P.M.) Permission must be obtained from the City Messenger in the building to see the Reception Room, Battery Room (Aldermen's and Council Chambers when either board is not in session), and to ascend to the dome - 127 ft. high, from which the most extensive view of the city can be obtained. The main entrance is on Dorrance St., above which, on a pediment of the second story, is a granite bust of Roger Williams. In front is the Soldiers' Monument and Exchange Pl.
CITY OFFICERS FOR 1882:
CITY REGISTRAR. -- See Sup't of Health.
CITY SEAL. -- April 6, 1834, the City Council, then in the second year of existence, passed the following ordinance: 'Be it ordained by the City Council of the city of Providence that the following be the device of the seal of said city, to wit: around the margin of the same a raised circle containing the words 'Seal of the city of Providence'; within which circle a device referring to the landing of the first settlers in Providence, representing a point of land on the bank of the river covered with forest-trees, beneath which a group of savages are awaiting the approach of a canoe containing Roger Williams and his companions; above which device, and immediately within the inner circle aforesaid, the words 'What cheer?' ' This seal has, in the course of time, undergone some modifications. It will be noticed that the 'raised circle' now contains in the upper half thereof the words 'Seal of the city of Providence' and in the lower half thereof the words, 'Founded 1636' and 'Incorporated 1832'. This arrangement of the words does away with the 'narrower circle'' spoken of. The central device has also been somewhat altered, and now represents the canoe containing Roger Williams as arrived at Slate Rock, upon which are grouped the Indians in friendly attitudes.
CLAM-BAKES. -- These essentially Rhode-Island institutions may be patronized at most of the shore resorts along the bay. The bake is usually made in primitive fashion on a rude floor of stones, previously heated by a wood fire built upon it. A thin layer of seaweed is put upon the heated stones; then the clams are piled up, and spread with another thin layer of seaweed. The whole is then covered with canvas to retain the heat and steam. Green corn, potatoes, and other vegetables, together with fried clams, fish, lobster, and watermelon, are furnished as accessories to the clam dinner, and uniform price of which is 50 cts.
CLEANSING is one of the most important departments of Lewando's French Dye-House, 270 Westminster St. The process employed by this house is the invention of M. Jolly of Paris; and Lewando, it is said, 'has the whole field of New England to himself'. It was introduced here by Lewando, and is carried on at the present time by two Frenchmen who served under Jolly in Paris. It is known as the dry process, and by its means all the most delicate fabrics, laces, feathers, silks, etc., can be cleansed without injury to the texture or colors.
CLOTHING is in the present state of civilization one of the requisistes of human comfort and one of the chief adornments of mankind. And clothing, ready-made or made to order, can be obtained nowhere in the world to better advantage than at the establishment of Macullar, Parker, & Company, 112 Westminster St. A brief sketch of this firm is given elsewhere under the heading, 'Macullar, Parker, and Company.'
COMMERCIAL CLUB, was org. in 1878 to advance the mercantile and manufacturing innterests of Providence by means of social intercourse and the interchange of opinion among the members. It holds monthly dinners. The prest. is Wm. B. Weeden; sec'y, Wm. P. Chapin, and treas. Herbert W. Ladd.
COMMERCIAL STATISTICS, 1881.
COMMON COUNCIL FOR 1882.
CORK HILL was the once familiar title of what is now known as the Brook-st. District. It received this name presumably from the nationality of its inhabitants.
COTTON MANUFACTURE. -- The earliest attempt to manufacture cotton in Providence was about the year 1788. Daniel Anthony, Andrew Dexter, and Lewis Peck formed a partnership to make 'homespun cloth'; and from an English model obtained in Beverly, Mass., they constructed a spinning-jenny, 'which was first set up in a private house, and afterwards removed to the market-house chamber in Providence and operated there.' Soon after they constructed a carding-machine and a spinning-frame, and also had a loom built under the direction of Joseph Alexander, a native of Scotland. All this machinery was crude, and did not work well. The spinning-frame was removed to Pawtucket, and operated by water-power, and soon after was sold to Moses Brown of Providence. William Almy and Smith Brown, under the patronage of Moses Brown, with this machine and others they had purchased from various parties, carried on the manufacture in Pawtucket; but, owing to the clumsiness of the machinery, found it unprofitable. In 1790, when affairs were in this condition, a young Englishman named Samuel Slater, who was skilled in the cotton manufacture, and had then been but a few months in the country, was engaged by Moses Brown to come to Pawtucket. Slater found the machines of Almy & Brown too imperfect to work satisfactorily, so he proceeded to construct machines after the English models. Having no plans or drawings, he had to rely entirely on his memory; yet after much labor and many discouragements he finally succeeded. This was the first thoroughly successful attempt to manufacture cotton in America with the machines invented by Arkwright and Hargreaves. Almy, Brown, & Slater formed a partnership, and carried on their business at Pawtucket for many years, and also built factories on other available sites in the neighborhood. Notwithstanding the fact that the manufacture was begun in Pawtucket, Providence has reaped the greatest benefit from it. Providence was the natural centre of operations, and became the market where the buying and selling, the making and importing of supplies for the factories, were conducted. To this fact, more than any other, is due the growth of the city. Under the direction of Slater and his partners, and the men they had trained, many factories were built on all the streams centring at Providence, and mills were also built in adjoining districts, in Massachusetts and Connecticut. In 1811 there were 17 cotton-mills in Providence and vicinity, and 5 in course of construction; and in adjoining towns in Rhode Island there were 8, and 5 being erected. In 1812, within a radius of 30 miles from Providence there were 53 factories -- 33 in Rhode Island, and 20 in Massachusetts. Since then the business has constantly increased in amount. The offices of many companies operating mills in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and elsewhere, are located in Providence. In 1860, 77 cotton-mills located outside the city limits were owned in Providence. The chief mills within the city limits are: Providence Steam Mill, established by Samuel Slater and others in 1827; Oriental Mills, Admiral cor. Whipple St.; Elmwood Cotton Mills, Mawney St.; the factories of B. B. & R. Knight on Carpenter St. and Broad St.; and the factories of the Fletcher Manuf. Co., Charles St. (See article on Manufactories.)
COURT HOUSE OF PROVIDENCE COUNTY, Benefit, cor. College St., is an imposing structure of Danvers face-brick, with Connecticut brown-stone trimmings, and an underpinning of Quincy granite. The building, begun in June, 1875, was dedicated Dec. 18, 1877. Its style is based upon the French Gothic order of architecture. There is much artistic carving noticeable, particularly upon the corbel of the oriel window on College St., facing Market Sq., and around the capitals of the polished granite columns at the porches. Above the main entrance rises a tower 200 ft. in height, which contains a fine clock. The interior of the building is handsomely fitted up, and comprises rooms for the common pleas and supreme courts, offices of the judges, clerks of the courts, and other county officers, waiting rooms, and other apartments. On the second floor is a law-library, ceiled throughout, and capable of accommodating 50,000 vols. The cost of the building was about $225,000, and with land and furniture $175,000 more. Stone & Carpenter, architects.
COVE, THE, is an elliptical basin, about a mile in circumference, lying in the geographical centre of the city. It was formerly an irregular body of water, navigable for vessels of considerable tonnage; but from time to time its area has been reduced by filling in the surrounding low lands. Its sides are built up with stone, and finished by an iron fence. The basin is fed by two small mill-streams, the Woonasquatucket and Moshassuck Rivers; and the Providence River flows outward to the south. Mud accumulates here very rapidly, owing to the refuse flowing down from the mills, and to sewers which empty here. Dredging has been attempted at great expense, and with unsatisfactory results; and propositions for converting the Cove and surrounding lands wholly to railroad purposes are under discussion.
COVE LANDS, THE, are large tracts of territory, lying N. and N. W. of the Cove basin, which were formerly flowed by tide-water. Most of this has been filled in for railroad and building purposes, but quite an area of marshy lowlands still remains. They city's right to these lands was purchased from the State in 1875, at a cost of $200,000.
COVE PROMENADE, THE, encircles the Cove, and has a general width of 80 ft. It is adorned by fine shade-trees, provided with comfortable seats, and in the evening is well-lighted by numerous gas-lamps; but the effluvia rising from the Cove at low-tide, and its proximity to the railroads, render it an unpopular place of resort.
CUSTOM CLOTHING, or 'merchant-tailoring', is one of the chief departments of Macullar, Parker, & Company's establishment, which is described in its alphabetical place.
CUSTOM HOUSE, THE, Weybosset, cor. Custom-House St., is a fine granite structure, three stories in height, opened in 1857. It cost about $225,000. Here upon the upper floors may be found the Internal-Revenue Office, the United-States Court Room, and rooms for the judges and other government officials. The lower story is devoted to the uses of the Post-Office Department. This department re-arranged and refurnished its quarters in 1880, putting in at that time, among other improvements, over 1,500 brass letter-boxes, secured by Yale locks.
ProJo Local News