King's Pocket-book of Providence, RI

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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


Copyright, 1882, by Moses King.

FARMER & CO., E. G., successors to Farmer, Livermore, & Co., are the only steel-engravers in Rhode Island, and one of the few firms in this line whose customers extend throughout the United States. They have been established four years, and have already earned a reputation for executing the highest grades of steel-engraving. The senior partner, E. G. Farmer, jrn., has been in this same business for 12 years, having been connected at various times with the American and Continental Bank-Note Companies of New York, and with John A. Lowell & Co. of Boston. The premises of E. G. Farmer & Co. include the third floor of the Rose Building, a fine brick structure with granite trimmings, situated at No. 18 Custom-house St., directly opposite the Custom House. The equipment of the establishment embraces all the machinery and appliances requisite for executing all varieties of steel-engraving for corporations, societies, firms, and individuals. Bonds, certificates of stock, stationery, wedding and social invitations, business and personal cards, circulars, etc., comprise part of the regular work constantly doing; while elaborate engraving for programmes, menus, and special occasions, is promptly and exquisitely executed. Steel-engraving has become recognized as one of the fine arts; and, in order to compete successfully with all firms, E. G. Farmer & Co. constantly employ noted and artistic designers, and experienced and skilled engravers, use the best materials, and put the finest finish on all their work.

FEDERAL HILL, north-west of Broadway, on the W. side, reaches its highest eminence of about 75 ft. nr. the Federal-st. School.


FEMALE CHARITABLE SOCIETY, org. in 1800, applies the income of an invested fund to the relief of needy and deserving women. Mrs. C. C. Carrington, sec'y.

FERRY. -- A ferry has been in operation for many years from James St. (East Side) to Ship St. (West Side). The toll is 2 cents. The ferry-boat is simply a large rowboat accommodating some half-dozen persons besides the oarsman.

Click here for a photo! FIELD'S POINT, 3 miles from Great Bridge, came into possession of the town in 1825, and in 1868 became a part of Ward IX. It comprises a farm of 37 acres, occupied by the sentinel for a quarantine-station and by the small-pox hospital. The latter, a white cottage on a bluff overlooking the water, has received but two patients in the last nine years. Most of the farm is leased as a shore resort, where shore dinners are served daily during the excursion season. Reached by the Continental line of steamers. The 'point' is a narrow strip of land, extending almost to the opposite shore, and forming a natural boundary bet. the harbor and the bay.


  • 2. On the pole cor. Wayland and Angell Sts.
  • 3. On pole cor. Hope and Bowen Sts.
  • 4. No. 6 Engine Station
  • 5. On pole cor. Governor and William Sts.
  • 6. On pole cor. East and Coles Sts.
  • 7. No. 15 Engine-Station, Wickenden St.
  • 8. On building cor. S. Main and Pike Sts.
  • 10. On pole E. River St., nr. S. Angell St.
  • 12. No. 2 Engine-Station, S. Main St.
  • 13. On pole cor. Condon St., opp. Bowen.
  • 14. City Building, Market Sq.
  • 15. No. 5 Engine-Station, N. Main St.
  • 16. On pole cor. Martin and Charles Sts.
  • 17. Cor. Cove and Merrill Sts.
  • 18. On pole cor. Camp and Locust Sts.
  • 21. On pole Benefit St. opp. Benevolent St.
  • 23. On pole cor. Union and Washington Sts.
  • 24. No. 7 Engine-Station, Richmond St.
  • 25. On building cor. Point and Chestnut Sts.
  • 26. On building cor. Potter's Av. and Eddy St.
  • 27. On pole junc. Point and Friendship Sts.
  • 28. On pole cor. Gilmore and Lester Sts.
  • 29. On pole cor. Ship and Dyer Sts.
  • 31. One pole cor. Camp and Olney Sts.
  • 32. On pole junc. Clifford and Dyer Sts.
  • 34. On pole cor. Stewart and Pond Sts.
  • 35. No. 8 Engine-Station, Harrison St.
  • 36. On pole cor. Westfield and Harrison Sts.
  • 37. On pole cor. Willow and Sycamore Sts.
  • 38. On building cor. Smith and Jefferson Sts.
  • 39. On pole at railroad crossing, Charles St.
  • 41. On stable cor. Meeting and Benefit Sts.
  • 42. On pole cor. Bassett and Claverick Sts.
  • 43. On pole cor. Beacon and Plain Sts.
  • 45. On pole cor. Broadway and Knight St.
  • 46. On New Market Building, High St.
  • 47. On building cor. Jackson and Fountain Sts.
  • 48. On pole cor. Martin St. and Douglas Av.
  • 51. On pole junc. Sexton and N. Main Sts.
  • 52. On W. front Prov. Machine Co.'s building, Eddy St.
  • 53. On pole cor. Cranston and Messer Sts.
  • 54. On pole cor. Broadway and Tobey St.
  • 56. On pole cor. Atwell's Av. and Dean St.
  • 57. No. 12 Engine-House, cor. Smith and Orms Sts.
  • 58. On pole cor. Atwell's Av. and Manton Av.
  • 61. No. 4 Engine-Station, Mill st.
  • 62. On pole cor. Prairie Av. and Public St.
  • 63. On pole 49 Dahlia St.
  • 64. On building cor. Mathewson and Westminster Sts.
  • 65. On pole cor. Atwell's Av. and America St.
  • 67. On pole cor. Manton Av. and Julian St.
  • 68. On pole cor. Jackson Av. and Hamilton St.
  • 71. Cor. Sabin and Mathewson Sts.
  • 72. On pole, Trinity Sq.
  • 73. On pole junc. High St. and Broadway.
  • 74. On pole cor. Fountain and Dean Sts.
  • 75. On E. front Steam Fire-Engine House, R. I. Locomotive Works.
  • 76. No. 14 Engine-Station, Putnam St.
  • 81. On pole cor. Prairie Av. and Lockwood St.
  • 82. Fourth Police Sta'n, Knight St.
  • 83. On pole cor. Francis and Gaspee Sts.
  • 84. On pole cor. Chalkstone Av. and Smith St.
  • 85. On pole cor. Fruit Hill and Manton Avs.
  • 86. On pole opp. Dyerville Manufacturing Co.
  • 91. On pole cor. Pitman and Gano Sts.
  • 92. On pole cor. Eddy St., and Thurber's Av.
  • 93. On pole, W. River St., nr. Tool Co.'s Armory.
  • 121. Cor. Harkness Court and Weybosset St.
  • 123. On pole junc. Cranston and Winter Sts.
  • 124. On pole cor. Broad and Plenty Sts.
  • 125. Butler Hospital
  • 126. On pole cor. Broad and Baker Sts.
  • 128. On pole cor. Waterman and Ives Sts.
  • 131. On pole cor. Benefit and Halsey Sts.
  • 132. Junc. of Bishop and Willard Sts.
  • 134. On pole cor. Branch Av. and Charles St.
  • 135. On pole cor. Admiral and Hawkins Sts.
  • 136. On pole cor. Elmhurst and Eaton Sts.
  • 141. On W. front Central Station, Canal St.
  • 142. Cor. Exchange Place and McNeal Lane
  • 143. On pole cor. Dudley and W. Clifford Sts.
  • 145. Atlantic Mills (private).
  • 151. On pole cor. of Whelden St. and Dowling Place.
  • 152. On pole cor. Smithfield Ave. and Cemetery St.
  • 153. On pole cor. Common and Davis Sts.
  • 154. Oriental Mills (private).
  • 161. On pole junc. Smith and Eaton Sts.
  • 162. On pole cor. Chalkstone and River Avs.
  • 163. Fletcher Manufactr'g Co. (private).
  • 164. Silver-Spring Bleachery (private).
  • 171. On pole City Yard.
  • 172. On pole Calais St., nr. Vitriol Works.
  • 213. On pole cor. Reservoir Av. and Crescent St.
  • 214. On pole junc. Elmwood and Reservoir Avs.
  • 215. On building cor. Greenwich and Public Sts.
  • 216. On pole cor. Thurber and Prairie Avs.
  • 217. On pole cor. Broad and Laura Sts.
  • 224. On pole cor. Academy Av. and Beaufort St.
  • 227. On pole cor. Somerset and Pine Sts.
  • 231. Gorham Manufactur'g Co. (private).
  • 232. Cor. Westminster and Eddy Sts.
  • 235. On pole cor. John and Thayer Sts.
  • 236. On Engine-House, cor. Burnside and Oxford Sts.
  • 241. Riverside Mills (private).
  • 242. Cor. Page and Pine Sts.
  • 243. Nicholson File Works (private).
  • 261. Prov. Gas Co. (private).
  • 272. On building cor. Broad and Pearl Sts.
  • 274. On pole cor. Branch Av. and Cottage Row.
  • 312. On building cor. S. Water and Crawford Sts.
  • 313. On pole cor. Harkness and High Sts.
  • 314. On pole cor. Ring and Courtland Sts.
  • 315. Wanskuck Mills (private).
  • 321. On Engine-House, Pallas St.
  • 361. Elmwood Manufacturing Co. (private).
  • 371. Taft & Weeden's Mill, Olneyville (private).
  • 412. American Screw Co., Stevens St. (private).
  • 421. Rear of 284 1-2 Broad St. (private).

FIRE-ALARM TELEGRAPH, The. -- The system in use is what is known as 'Gamewell's Automatic'. It was introduced in December, 1870, at which time 50 boxes were placed in different parts of the city, communicating electrically with the various alarm bells and gongs. The number of boxes has increased from year to year, until now there are about 120. The general directions for holders of keys (who invariably reside in the vicinity of the box) are as follows: --

  • 1. Go to the nearest box, open the door, pull the hook down as far as you can, (firmly, without jerking), and then let it slide back; close the door, and remove the key.
  • 2. If, upon going to a box to give an alarm, you hear the small bell inside ringing (which is an indication that an alarm is being sent over the wires) in all such cases count the signals being sounded, and be certain whether it is for the same fire or not; if not for the same fire, wait until the signals have entirely ceased before pulling the box.

Key-holders are cautioned: --

  • 1. To give no alarm until the fire is certain.
  • 2. To give no alarm for fire seen at a distance.
  • 3. To be sure, after giving an alarm, that the door is securely closed before the box is left. Three strokes sounded by the alarm-bells indicate the fire is out, and the department dismissed. One stroke is sounded by the alarm-bells at 12 M., and at 8.30 P. M. See heading Time.

FIRE-DEPARTMENT, THE, is as efficient and well equipped as any in the country. Since its organization as a paid department in 1854, there has been but one conflagration of any size in the city (in 1877, loss $450,000). It numbers 152 men (74 permanent, 78 'call-men') under the control of the chief engineer, and four assistant engineers. It consists of 15 hose-carts, 4 hook-and-ladder trucks, beside 8 steam fire-engines rarely used, as the force and supply of the water at the 1,161 hydrants, distributed throughout the city, are sufficient to subdue any ordinary fire. A valuable auxiliary is the Protective Department, maintained by the insurance-companies, to lessen the damage from water as well as fire. A fire-marshal, an office created in 1881, is empowered to examine into the causes of all fires in which valuable property has been destroyed or damaged. In 1881 there were 184 alarms, with losses aggregating only $74,000, and with insurance of about $260,000. For financial year 1882-83, $100,000 have been appropriated, or $5,000 more than in 1881-82.

FIREMEN'S ASSOCIATION. -- See Providence Association of Firemen.

FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH, in a lot 1 1-6 acres in extent, N. Main, cor. Waterman St., is of wood, and was erected in 1775. Its handsome spire is 196 ft. high. The society, founded in 1638-39, chartered in 1774, claims to be the oldest Baptist organization in America. The organ, built by Hook & Hastings in 1833, was the gift of Hon. Nicholas Brown, a benefactor of Brown University. The church has been used ever since its completion for holding the commencement exercises of Brown University.

FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH (Unitarian), The, Benefit, cor. Benevolent St., is one of the most noticable churches in the city, owing to its prominent position and graceful steeple. A tablet on the front of the church indicates that the present edifice was built in 1816, on the site of a previous one destroyed by fire in 1814. Within the church the high, old-fashioned mahogony pulpit still remains, on each side of which are marble tablets erected to the memory of the Rev. Dr. Hitchcock and the Rev. Dr. Hall, former pastors of this society. A handsome granite chapel stands in the rear of the church. It contains a Sunday-school room, parlors, and other rooms for the use of the society.

FIRST ROMAN-CATHOLIC PRIEST regularly settled in this city was Robert D. Woodley, who was sent here in 1827 by Benedict Fenwick, the Catholic Bishop of New England. He conducted the services in Mechanics' Hall for about 3 years, and was then succeeded by John Corry.

FIRST SETTLERS of Providence, besides Roger Williams, were, Wm. Harris, John Smith, Joshua Verrin, Thos. Angell, and Francis Wickes.

FIRST STEAMBOAT that ever sailed on Providence River was an invention of Elisha Ormsbee of Providence in 1792. After a few trials it was abandoned.

FIRST UNIVERSALIST CHURCH, erected in 1872, at the cor. of Green and Washington Sts., is a fine brick building, with stone trimmings, showing excellent taste in the interior arrangement, and lighted by large, finely stained windows. Two meeting-houses belonging to this society have been erected on Westminster, cor. Union St.; the first was destroyed by fire in 1825; the second was sold in1870, and its site is occupied by the 'Boston Store'.

FLETCHER'S WORSTED MILLS. -- See Providence Worsted Mills.

FLORENCE is a name familiar to Providence people by reason of the extensive advertising and general popularity of the Florence brands of knitting, etching, and filling silks made by the Nonotuck Silk Co., whose mills are in the villages of Florence and Leeds, in the town of Northampton, Mass. These silks are sold by leading dealers everwhere, and are recognized by the trade as equal to any silks made anywhere in the world. The New England agent is Geo. D. Atkins, 18 Summer St., Boston.

FORESTERS, ANCIENT ORDER OF, is an org'n having weekly sick benefits, and an insurance feature; $1,000 being paid to the family of a deceased member, and $5 a week during sickness. There is one 'court' in Providence, comprising 60 members, sec'y Jas. Abraham, 53 Bay St.; and one 'court' in Olneyville, org'd in 1879.

FORT INDEPENDENCE, an earthwork on 'Robin Hill', Field's Point, the remains of which are in fair preservation. It was thrown up for a protection to the harbor during the second war with England.

FOUNTAINS. -- See Abbott-Park Fountain, Drinking-Fountains, Prospect-Terrace Fountain.

FOX POINT, on the east side, juts out about 500 feet between the harbor and the river. The wharves of the New-York steamers are located on this point.

FRANKLIN LYCEUM, 62 Westminster St., was formed in 1843 as a debating and literary society, and adopted its present name in the following year. In 1848 the Westminster Lyceum, a newly formed society, merged its separate title and existence in the Franklin Lyceum. Nov. 19, 1858, formal possession was taken of the rooms now occupied. These comprise a reading-room and a library of about 7,600 vols., and a hall where the Monday-evening debates are held. For nearly forty years the Lyceum has sustained a public course of lectures and other entertainments during the winter. It was unsuccessful in its lecture-course last season, and, to avoid heavy loss, gave it up after one or two entertainments. A debt which had encumbered the society was lifted a year or two ago by Frederic A. Gower, formerly the gen. agent of the Bell Telephone Co. For several years past the library has not received many additions, but just now special efforts are being made to secure a decided increase in the number of books. The Lyceum has served a most useful purpose in fitting young men for public life, its discipline in parliamentary practice alone being of sufficient value to enlist many young men in its membership. It is a well-known fact, that most of Rhode Island's prominent men in the past half-century are included in its list of members. Membership 500.

FRANKLIN SOCIETY, THE PROVIDENCE, holds public meetings every alternate Tuesday at its rooms, 54 N. Main St. It was incorporated in 1823. It aims to cultivate and disseminate scientific knowledge by means of lectures and discussions. It has a cabinet of natural history, mineralogical and geological specimens, and a small valuable scientific library. C. M. Salisbury, sec'y.

FRANKLIN SQUARE, Atwell's Ave., cor. Bradford St., is a diminutive piece of ground, conveyed to the town in 1808, by Amos M. Atwell and others, 'for some public purpose or purposes'. It serves as a small breathing space for the denizens of that part of the city.

FRENCH CAMP. See Camp Street.

FRENCH DYE-HOUSE is a name used by many concerns in this country; but the one in New England to which it most legitimately belongs is Lewando's French Dye-House, established forty years ago in Boston by A. Lewando, a native Parisian. The works of this concern are in Watertown, Mass. The main office is at 17 Temple Place, Boston; and the Providence branch is at 270 Westminster St., adjoining Music Hall.

FRENCH MEMORIAL, The. -- This monument, the result of the unremitting exertions of the Rev. Frederic Denison, assisted by liberal-minded citizens, has been erected in the the North Burial Ground, over the graves of the French soldiers who died on Rhode Island soil during the Revolution. It is of Westerly granite, consisting of a base stone 8 x 4 ft. and a ledger stone 6 x 2 ft and 2 ft. high. The latter bears on its upper surface a French shield, and on the east side are cut the words: 'Our French Allies in the Revolution;' on the west, 'La Gratitude de Rhode Island.' The north end panel is inscribed, 'Tribute to the People, Decorated by the French Delegation, Nov. 1, 1881.' The south end has a Revolutionary cartridge box in relief, with the date 1782. The monument was dedicated July 4, 1882. A procession composed of the First Light Infantry Regiment, R. I. M.; Bon Layfayette Guard of New York; Societe Gardes Lafayette; French Consul General and French Legation; French Colony of Providence, militia, bands, and invited guests, -- marched through the sts. of the city to the North Burial-Ground. The monument was there unveiled with appropriate ceremonies in the presence of the assembled multitude. Rev. Frederic Denison delivered an oration; addresses were made by the Hon. T. A. Doyle, Mayor Hayward, M. Le Faivre, the French Consul-General; and Prof. J. E. Guilbert read a poem in the French language. The introductory prayer and the benediction were offered by Bishop Clark.

FRENCH VISITORS who attended the Yorktown celebration enjoyed the hospitality of this city Nov. 1, 1881, visited the old French camping grounds, the graves of the French solders in the North Burial-Ground, Brown University, and other points of interest.

FRIENDS' BOARDING-SCHOOL is one of the noblest and most richly endowed educational institutions in New England. Its 225 pupils come from twenty states, to prepare in a literary and scientific or classical course (or a combination of the two) for mercantile life or for universities and professional schools. Its founder, Moses Brown, was also a founder of Brown University. He gave, besides his personal care, nearly $20,000, and about 50 acres of land which are now worth perhaps $50,000. His son, Obadiah Brown, gave $100,000, and since then benefactors in large and small sums have been numerous in all parts of the country; among them Wm. Almy, Ebenezer Metcalf, $30,000, and a Boston lady who in 1882 gave $30,000. The school has been able by its ample endowment to do noble work. Its foundation might be dated 1780, when Moses Brown headed a subscription by means of which the Society of Friends in 1784 began a school at Portsmouth, R. I.; but it dates merely from 1819, since which time the school has been almost uninterruptedly conducted at Providence. The grounds, buildings, and equipment should be seen by every visitor to the city. The property is cor. Hope and Lloyd Sts., about a mile from the City Hall. The 50 acres are upon an eminence 182 ft. above tide-water, and overlook the city, the rivers, and Narragansett Bay. Nearly all the towns in Rhode Island can be seen from the cupola on the main building. The main building is of brick, 220 ft. long, and contains a dining-hall, girls' schoolroom, public reception-room, parlors and nurseries, recitation-rooms, and dormitories. An extension of brick, 76 ft. long, contains a boys' schoolroom and dormitories. 'Alumni Hall', a three-story brick structure, 126 ft. long, contains on the first floor a grand public hall, besides rooms for the scientific apparatus and cabinets, the library, and reading-room; and on the upper floors dormitories for girls. There are also two gymnasiums, -- one for each sex, -- an enclosed place for roller-skating, ponds for bathing and skating, and academic groves of venerable trees for recreation and retreat. The equipment comprises an abundance of approved astronomical and other scientific-apparatus, laboratories, art-models, a library of 6,000 volumes, six pianos, and other musical instruments, etc. Ventilation, drainage, and other sanatory precautions, are perceptible everywhere. The school takes only boarding pupils, and thus becomes the home of about 225 boys and girls; and here may well be studied the co-education system. The institution is owned by the New-England Yearly Meeting of Friends, who choose the 'school committee' of 33 men and women. The faculty consists of 18 male and female instructors, librarians, etc., eight of whom are college graduates, and all of whom are chosen by reason of superior qualifications. The principal is Augustine Jones, A.M., who in 1851 graduated from this schoool, and later from Bowdoin College, and afterwards from the Harvard Law School, and who was the partner and educator of Gov. John A. Andrew, the Massachusetts 'War Governor'. He practised law in Massachusetts for 12 years, and served in the general court for one year, and in 1879 relinquished his practice to accept his present responsible position, and has brought to the institution its greater prosperity. It is not possible in this limited space to give the details of the workings, terms, etc., of the school, but a descriptive pamphlet can be had free by any applicant. It must be stated, however, that 25 worthy pupils receive (in scholarship*s) their entire board, rooms, tuition, washing, etc., free of charge; a fact which in itself indicates the character of the institution. Although managed by Friends, the school is wholly unsectarian, and one-half the pupils are of other denominations. Brook-st. H. C.

FRIENDS, THE SOCIETY OF. -- This denomination*, which in the last half of the 17th century suffered the severest persecution from the Massachusetts and Plymouth colonies, always found an asylum and protection in Rhode Island. Mary Dyer, who has the distiction of being the only woman who suffered capital punishment in the persectutions of Friends, the world over, was a citizen of Rhode Island, the wife of Wm. Dyer, the first sec'y of Aquidneck. In the year 1672 George Fox, the founder of the sect, held a meeting in a great barn in Providence, which was thronged with people. This meeting is believed to have been the cause of the famous challenge sent by Roger Williams to George Fox, but not received, to debate in public 14 propositions from the doctrines of Friends. The home and freedom which they found induced large numbers to settle here, until they were in numbers second only to the Baptists. They had sometimes, indeed, a controling influence in the colony, and several of their members were governors; notable among them were Nicholas Easton, Wm. Coddington, John Wanton, and Stephen Hopkins. Hopkins was expelled from the Society because he would not liberate his only slave, in 1773, but a short time before he signed the Declaration of Independence. Nathaniel Greene, the second general of the Revolution, was from these non-resistant Friends. The first manufacture of pure cotton fabrics in this country was undertaken through the capital and influence of Moses Brown, a Friend, by introducing the Arkwright machinery. This Society has now only two places of worship in the city: (1) cor. N. Main and Meeting Sts., and (2) at the Friends' Boarding-School. The first-named, a plain and unpretentious wooden structure, has been a place of worship of the Society since about 1727. An addition was made to the building in 1784-85. The town was accustomed, for a long time, to hold their meetings in this house, and a school was for many years kept in the upper part of it. A small Friends' meeting-house was built as early as 1704. The spirit of the age does not seem to favor the simple ways of Friends of the olden time, and they are decreasing in the old New England communities. But in the West and in many other parts of the world they are adopting the methods of the world and of other churches, and rapidly increasing in numbers. -- Augustine Jones.

*America was first visited by Friends when Mary Fisher and Anne Austin arrived in Boston from Barbadoes, to which island they has gone to preach the gospel the preceding year.-- Henry Chase.