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.

GAS-COMPANY, THE PROVIDENCE, rear of What Cheer Building, Market Sq., was chartered in 1847, and began the distribution of gas in 1849. Its works on Pike St. (East Side) have been abandoned; and Langley St. (West Side), and the south station at foot of Public St., supply gas to thirteen holders in various sections of the city. In the past year 300,000,000 sq. ft. of gas were made at the two works, about 40,000,000 of which were supplied to the city street-lights and to the City Hall.

GAS-HOLDERS, THE, generally called elsewhere 'gasometers' erected by the Providence Gas Co., are covered with substantial brick buildings; the roofs of the last having tinned domes. Gas-holder No. 10, on Crary St., is of immense size; its total height from curbing of street to top of spire being 201 ft. 10 in., and its cupola 34 5-6 ft. high. Diameter of holder, 121 ft. 6 in. It will be seen that this dome is almost as large as that of St. Peter's Church in Rome, which has a diameter of 139 ft. inside and 148 ft. outside.

GASPEE, THE, was a cruiser, commanded by Duddington, who insulted and abused the Rhode Island colonists. In 1772, boats came off from Providence in the night, manned by colonists who burned the hated cruiser, and wounded the offending commander.

GAZETTE AND COUNTRY JOURNAL, THE PROVIDENCE, was the second newspaper founded in Rhode Island, and the first in Providence. Its founder was Wm. Goddard; and 'among its first contributors was Gov. Hopkins, who began for it his 'Account of Providence', but called to other subjects by the excitement of the times he never went beyond the first chapter. Enough, however, was published to call out several insulting letters from Massachusetts.' -- G. W. Greene's History of Rhode Island.

It was Wm. Goddard who, when Franklin was removed from the office of sup't of the American post-office, conceived the idea of a colonial post-office, and visited all the colonies to secure their co-operation for this purpose.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY, THE, or State Legislature, holds an annual session, commencing on the last Tuesday in May, at Newport, and an adjournment from the same, usually in January following, at Providence. It consists of the lieutenant-governor, who is a senator ex-officio, and 36 senators, one from each town in the State, and 72 representatives, apportioned among the various towns as follows: Providence, 12; Pawtucket, 6; Woonsocket and Newport, 5 each, Lincoln and Warwick, 4 each; Bristol, Burrillville, Cranston, Cumberland, Johnston, and Westerly, 2 each; and the remaining 24 towns, 1 each. The sessions in Providence, to which visitors are admitted, are held at the State House. The annual State election takes place the first Wednesday in April. The state government is inaugurated annually at Newport on the last Tuesday in May.

GENEVA, a manufacturing village just within the limits of the city, was formerly, before its annexation as a part the of the Tenth Ward, in the town of North Providence.

GEOLOGY OF THE REGION NEAR PROVIDENCE. -- The geological structure of the region near Providence is too complicated to be treated in any sufficient way in this volume. The following points have been selected as those most important to those who desire to get an idea of the physical conditions of the city as far as they are affected by the structure of the rocks in its neighborhood. The mainland of Rhode Island, lying between the western shore of Narragansett Bay and the Connecticut line, is mainly composed of very ancient rocks belonging to the Laurentian and Lower Cambrian series. The mainland to the eastward of the Bay, in the townships of Taunton and Little Compton, is underlaid by the same series. These ancient rocks afford building materials, sienties and limestones, iron and copper ores. These ores have been the objects of some unprofitable mining. The iron is found in considerable quantities in the township of Cumberland; it is magnetic oxide, containing large amounts of titanium, which makes it so hard to smelt that it has never been much used. Copper is found in small quantities in Cumberland, but it is in quantities too small for profitable working. During the Revolutionary war and until after the war of 1812-15, these iron ores were used in providing cannon and shot; since that time they have fallen into disuse. The limestones of Smithfield have been considerably used for making lime; the only hinderance to their extensive employment is the high price of fuel. The greater part of the water area of Narragansett Bay and of the surface of the most of its islands, as well as a part of the mainland beneath and near Providence, is occupied by rocks belonging to the coal measures. This set of rocks lies in a broad trough, which extends from the southern part of Newport to within about 30 miles of Boston, Mass. This series of rocks is over 7,000 feet thick, and owes its preservation to the fact that the beds were folded into a deep mountain valley or synclinal fold, so that the action of the sea and of glaciers could not wear them completely away. The deep and extensive inlets of Narragansett Bay are cut out in them, they being much softer and more easily worn away than the older rocks of the mainland. A number of coals are known to exist in these coal measures, which have been searched for in various mines, the most important of which were on the northern part of Aquidneck Island, at Cranston, and at Valley Falls. Although the coal is of the same age as the beds of anthracite in Pennsylvania, it differs from them in some important respects. It has been more changed by pressure and heat, so that it is sometimes more like graphite or plumbago than ordinary anthracite; it does not ignite readily, though when fired it makes an intense heat; where it has been mined it is found to be much disturbed in its position, so that mining work is difficult and on the whole unprofitable. Rhode Island has been profoundly affected by glaciation, which has worn down its hills and strewn its surface with bowlders brought from the northward. -- N. S. Shaler.

GERMANIA LODGE OF HARUGARI. -- See German Secret Societies.

GERMAN SECRET SOCIETIES. -- All those below mentioned meet in Fletcher's Hall, No. 173 Westminster St.

B'nai B'rith, Independent Order of (Sons of the Covenant), a mutual benefit order of Israelites, has one lodge, Haggai Lodge, No. 32, in Providence. The sick-benefits are $5 a week, and on the death of a member $1,000 is paid to his heirs. These payments are provided for by death assessments and annual dues. The society numbers about 70 members. J. H. Kahn, sec'y.

Free Sons of Israel, Independent Order of, is a Jewish association, in nearly ever respect identical with the B'nai B'rith. It is represented in Providence by the Providence Lodge, No. 78, and numbers nearly 80 members. David Frank, sec'y.

Harugari, German Order of. -- There are two lodges belonging to this beneficial order in the city. Cheruska Lodge, No. 315, has a membership of 44, and pays to its sick and disabled members $4 a week; and insuring of death-benefits, ranging from $500 to $3,000, is optional with members. Henry Sessler, sec'y. Germania Lodge, No. 266, comprises 86 members. It pays a sick-benefit of $5 a week, and a death-benefit of $500, collected by assessment upon members. A. H. Wagenseil, sec'y.

GERMAN TURNERS' SOCIETY has rooms at 29 Exchange Pl., where meetings for practice are held twice a week, business meetings on alternate Thursdays; membership, 52. Sec'y, Henry Hezel.

GOLDEN CROSS, UNITED ORDER OF THE, a temperance organization with an insurance feature, was first instituted in Knoxville, Tenn. It is represented in Providence by two commanderies, Northern Star, No. 44, and What Cheer, No. 124, holding weekly meetings. Annual dues and death assessments sustain the organization. Providence membership, 100.

GOOD TEMPLARS. -- See Temperance Organizations.

GRACE CHURCH, org. in 1829, first held services in the old Congregational meeting-house, cor. of Pine and Richmond Sts. In 1832 the old Providence Theatre, cor. Westminster and Mathewson Sts., was bought, and converted into a church edifice. The present freestone Gothic building was consecrated in 1846. In 1861 a chime of 16 bells was placed in the tower. A handsome brick rectory was erected on Greene Street in 1878. In 1879 there was a 'Half Century Jubilee", in commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the church, a full report of which, with many illustrations, was published in 1880. The rector is David H. Greer, D.D.


GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC, The, is a secret semi-military organization. Soldiers and sailors of the U. S. army, navy, or marine corps, who served during the civil war, or those having been honorably discharged therefrom after such service, are alone eligible to membership. Its objects are fraternal, charitable, and loyal. There are five posts in this city: Prescott, No. 1; Arnold, No. 4; Slocum, No. 10; Rodman, No. 12; and Ives, No. 13, -- comprising in all nearly 450 men. Ass't Adjutant General, W. J. Bradford.

GREAT BRIDGE, known also as Weybosset Bridge, is remarkable only for its width, 160 ft. It connects Market Sq. with Westminster St. The station of the Union Horse R. R. Co. is on the N. side. A foot-bridge in this place is mentioned as early as 1664.

GREGORY'S BOOK, STATIONERY, AND JOB-PRINTING ESTABLISHMENT is one of the local places of business well worth visiting, as it contains a good assortment of rare, valuable, and modern books including law, medicine, mechanics, theology, education, and romance. Reference-books, such as encyclopaedias, dictionaries, and atlases, are here to be seen in many editions of various prominent publishers. In the stock, it is intended to keep every thing in book-form, from the 'Franklin-Sq. Library' to the 'Encyclopaedia Britannica', and to keep it all in a manner which offers ready access for examination by patrons. The stock is chiefly new books, but a specialty is also made of buying and selling second-hand books of every kind. A large business is done in supplying Sunday-school libraries with complete outfits; this being the Rhode Island Episcopal Book Depository. This is also the agency of the Providence Lithograph Co., whose designs are used for Sunday-school work in the International Lessons. The stationery department supplies such goods as are usually found in stationery-stores, including albums, pocket-books, gold, steel, and stylographic pens, etc. Cards and stationery are engraved or printed for weddings, balls, parties, visiting, and other purposes. The business was established under the firm name of Gregory & White, by Harry Gregory, the present proprietor, and Col. Hunter C. White, who withdrew in 1882. Mr. Gregory has been in the book-business in Providence for the past sixteen years, and has established himself as a leading bookseller in this State.

GREENHOUSES. -- In 1875 the capital reported as invested in greenhouses in Providence was $80,700; value of the grounds, $160,740; surface of the glass, $86,484 square ft.; value of flowers sold in one year, $28,985; value of bedding-plants, $28,885; and, besides, gardening-work to the amount of $17,120 was done.

GROCERS' ASSOCIATIONS. -- The wholesale and retail grocery interests in the city are each represented by an association; the former by The Providence Wholesale Grocers' Association, established in 1881, which holds regular semi-monthly meetings at its rooms, in the Daniels Building, Custom House St.; E. S. Aldrich, sec'y; the latter by the Rhode Island Grocers' and Marketmen's Association, also established in 1881, which holds regular semi-monthly meetings at its rooms, 70 Weybosset St.; A. H. Wheaton, sec'y.

GYMNASIUMS. -- See Ladies' Sanitary Gymnasium; Work's Gymnasium; Young Men's Christian Association.