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.

NARRAGANSETT, or 'Nahiggonsik', was the name of the tribe of Algonkin Indians, which, in the early days of the colonies, was the most powerful in New England, and at that time possessed a territory nearly the same as the present State of Rhode Island, giving their name to the beautiful bay. They were friendly to Roger Williams, with whom they made a treaty in 1636, and aided the colonists againset the Pequots. During the war with King Philip, chief sachem of the Pokanoket Indians, they were suspected of giving him support, and were twice attacked; the second time being nearly annihilated. A remnant of the tribe of Narragansetts, numbering 150 in 1877, still remains in Charlestown, R. I.; and here may be seen, on an elevated plateau overlooking the sea, the royal burying ground of this once famous tribe. The Algonkin language, of which the Narragansett was a dialect, was spoken over a large territory, embracing a region running N. and S. from Rhode Island, for some 600 miles. A grammar of their language was printed by Roger Williams in 1643. According to J. Hammond Trumbull, the tribal name was 'Nanhigganeuck', as Roger Williams wrote it. Narragaset means place, not people, -- denotes 'people of the point', from their original location, near Point Judith Pond, and its W. branch, Fresh Pond.

NARRAGANSETT BAY extends N. 28 miles into the State of Rhode Island. Its climate is mild, as compared with the rest of New England; and it has many attractions in its numerous shore resorts, valuable fisheries, and points of historical interest. It receives the Providence, Pawtuxet, Warren, Taunton, and Apponaug Rivers; the last two through their estuaries, Mount Hope Bay and Greenwich, or Cowesett, Bay. The islands of Rhode Island and Canonicut divide it at its mouth; forming three passages for vessels, known as the E., W., and Middle Passages. The E. passage is also called Seaconnet River. On Narragansett waters was committed the first hostile act against the British goverment, when, in 1769, the Newport people sank his Majesty's armed sloop 'Liberty', and burned her boats; and here, at Gaspee Point, was shed the first blood in the Revolutionary War, at the capture and destruction of the British schooner 'Gaspee', by Providence and Bristol men, in 1772. In summer, when the bay is filled with sailing craft of every description, from the stanch and handsome steamers down to dingy but suggetive fishing-dories and oyster-boats, a sail between its green banks, adorned on every hand with picturesque cottages and villas, pavilions, and hotels, is an enjoyment not be be forgotten.

NARRAGANSETT BOAT-CLUB, org. 1838, incorporated 1871, was originally composed of young business and professional men, many of whom have since held important offices in the State and Nation. The membership still consists of the same classes. The club had a boat-house at the head of Hopkins and Pomroy's wharf, foot of Orange St., but sold it at auction Sept. 27, 1882. This old building was originally located on the Seekonk, and was towed in two sections from there to its late position. A two-story front was then added, the second floor of which was the club-room. It is intended to build a new house on the Seekonk in 1883, at a cost of about $5,000. The number of boats belonging to the club is about 20, including single and crew boats. Officers are, -- prest., A. C. Tingley; vice-prest., Samuel Ames; captain, Edward H. Tingley; lieutenant, Clarence H. Gardner; sec'y, Nelson S. Davis; treasurer, Wm. D. Nisbet.

NARRAGANSETT CLUB. -- In 1865 George T. Paine and several other gentlemen associated themselves under the above title, for the purpose of reprinting the works of, and in relation to, Roger Williams. The first volume was published in 1866, and the sixth and last in 1874; previous to which time, however, the entire management and expense of the undertaking had been assumed by Mr. Paine.

NARRAGANSETT HOTEL, conducted by Chapin & Robinson, is one of the largest, grandest, best furnished, and most satisfactorily kept hotels in the world. It is one of the most imposing structures of any kind in Providence and is situated in the heart of the city. Surrounded by smaller buildings, it stands forth as a huge and majestic building, commanding the attention of every visitor. It is 8 stories high on the inner court, although only 7 stories are seen from the street. It fronts on Broad, Dorrance, and Eddy Sts.; the frontage being respectively 134, 181, and 184 ft. The exterior is plain and substantial, of Trenton pressed brick; the lower story, the window-cappings, and the ornaments being of iron. The interior, however, while equally substantial, is not at all plain, although every thing is in excellent taste. There are three entrances, one on Dorrance St., another on Eddy St., and the third on Broad St. The main entrance, 17 ft. wide, is about midway on Dorrance St., and opens directly to the main staircase hall, which is 30 ft. by 67 ft. and 29 ft. high, the ceiling forming an immense skylight. An open court, 30 by 150 ft., occupies the whole centre of the building. These dimensions give some idea of the generous proportions of this hotel; for in few hotels anywhere have the rooms, parlors, dining-halls, chambers, etc., been made so large and high as those in the Narragansett. All of the Dorrance-st. front on the second floor is devoted to delightful parlors. The grand dining-hall is 40 by 90 ft., and 27 ft. high. The chambers are supplies with every modern convenience, most of them having baths and closets adjoining, and all having open grates, with marble mantles. The ventilation has been specially provided for. The 225 rooms are admirable furnished and thoroughly taken care of. The hotel is provided with elevators, telegraph and telephone offices, barber-shops, and every other convenience usual to leading hotels. The lunch-room is the finest and most frequented of its class. The hotel was begun in 1874, and finished in 1878, at a cost of almost $1,000,000. The architect was Wm. R. Walker. It was begun by the Narragansett Hotel Co., chartered in 1854. After $680,000 had been invested, the property was bought by Geo. R. Phillips. A new co., the Wheaton Hotel Co., was then org'd under an old charter dating back to 1854; and the hotel was finished a few years afterward, creditably to all concerned. Both managers are men of considerable experience in first-class hotels. Edwin Chapin has been prominently identified with such hotels as the Fifth-avenue of New York, the Delavan of Albany, the Continental of Philadelphia, the Tremont and the Revere of Boston, the Occidental of San Francisco, etc. M. P. Robinson, although a young man, is widely and favorably known as a genial and competent host; having made an extensive acquaintance with the travelling public at the Massasoit House at Springfield, the Kennard at Cleveland, the Tremont House and the Hotel Brunswick of Boston, and latterly at the Narragansett, where he and Mr. Chapin have been associated for the past two years. Every thing considered, Providence can well boast of her grand hotel; for no city of its size has one which equals, and few cities of any size have hotels to surpass, the Narragansett. The Wheaton Hotel Co., owners of the Narragansett Hotel, is composed chiefly of wealthy citizens of Rhode Island; the president being Ex.-Gov. Henry Lippitt, one of the best known citizens of Providence.

NARRAGANSETT TROTTING-PARK is in the town of Cranston, bet. W. Elmwood and the Cranston Print Works. It has a good track and extensive grounds. The annual fairs of the Society for the Encouragement of Domestic Industry are held here; and twice - in 1867 and 1873 - the New England Agricultural Society held its fairs on these grounds.

NARRAGANSETT YACHT-CLUB, incorporated at the January session of the State Legislature, 1882, is composed of a number of wealthy Providence gentlemen and others, whose object is to increase the interest in yachting matters, and to bring the advantages of Narragansett Bay to the notice of yachtmen in general. The club has a landing at Newport, and a landing and club-house on Conanicut Island, Narragansett Bay. 12 or 15 schooner yachts, and about the same number of sloops, belong to the club, some of them being New-York yachts. The officers are Henry Lippitt, com.; Chas. W. Lippitt, treas.; Geo. Lewis Gower, sec'y; J. P. Earl, rear-com.

NATURAL HISTORY. -- See Franklin Society.

NATURAL - HISTORY STORE of Southwick & Jencks is the only one in Rhode Island. In some respects it one of the most noteworthy places of its class in America. For instance, here is offered for sale the largest assortment of skins of North-American birds offered anywhere; and in birds' eggs there is an almost unequalled collection. In all departments of natural history, such as minerals, birds, dried grasses and flowers, shells, and various natural curiosities, a large and interesting exhibit is always to be seen. A specialty is made of stuffing birds. The business was established in 1876 by the present firm, and is carried on at No. 258 Westminster St.

NEUTAKONKANUT HILL, or, as called in the title-deed given by the Narragansetts to Roger Williams, 'Ye Great Hill of Notquonckanet', is an eminence just beyond the terminus of the Plainfield-st. route of horse-cars. It is not difficult of ascent; and from its summit a magnificent view is obtained, extending eastward as far as Prospect Hill, and N. and S. from Pawtucket to Fall River. With a field-glass it is said that Mt. Wachuset is visible. Neutakonkanut Hill may be seen from Prospect Terrace. This hill has lately been divided into house-lots, and access from Plainfield St. is now forbidden.

NEW ENLGAND MANUFACTURING JEWELLERS' ASSOCIATION is the name adopted, April 3, 1882, by the Providence Jewellers' Club, an organization formed in 1879, not merely for the promotion of social enjoyment, but to advance and protect the jewelry manufacturing and kindred interests. The new rooms of the association are in the Wilcox Building, Weybosset St., and are open to non-member residents of the city, from 9 A.M. to 6 P.M. on Mondays only. Regular business meetings are held on the first Saturday in each month. The society numbers nearly 200 members. John A. McCloy, sec'y.

NEWMARKET, plain, and unmodified by Sq. or St., similar to 'Cornhill' in London or Boston, is a name applied to the triangular space formed by the junc. of High, Broad, and Chestnut Sts. Its name is derived from the old Market Building which stands there. The Central Baptist and Beneficent Congregational churches front on this space.

NEWSPAPERS. -- There are nearly 20 local newspapers, of various kinds. The dailies, arranged in the order of their seniority, are as follows: --

'Providence Daily Journal', a Republican morning newspaper, published by Knowles, Anthony, & Danielson, and edited by George W. Danielson, 2 Weybosset St.; established in 1829. Until the summer of 1881, the paper was a large folio in form; but on July 1 it appeared as a quarto, 24 x 37 1/2. The 'Journal' was the first paper to introduce in this city the stereotype system, which it adopted in 1881. Its printing-machinery consists of two Hoe-web perfecting presses, with a capacity of 15,000 papers per hour each. Terms, $8 a year, 3 cents a copy.

'Providence Evening Press', established in 1859, is a Republican paper of liberal tone, published by the Providence Press Company, and edited by Z. L. White, 22 Weybosset St. It is issued in folio form, with supplement. Size of sheet, 25 x 39 1/4. Terms, $6 a year, 2 cents a copy.

'Evening Bulletin', issued by the publishers of the 'Journal', first appeared in 1863, at which time it was printed upon a single-cylinder press capable of making about 800 impressions an hour. Owing to the rapid increase of its circulation, it has outgrown, successively, 2, 4 and 6 cylinder machines, and is now printed on the presses used for the 'Journal', giving a combined capacity of 60,000 papers per hour. It is properly a single folio sheet, though appearing usually with a supplement, or in quarto form. Its circulation is the largest of any paper in Rhode Island. Terms, $6 a year, 2 cents a copy.

'Providence Morning Star', established in 1869, and published by the proprietors of the 'Press', has the largest circulation of any morning paper in the State. Size of sheet, 25 x 39 1/4. Terms, $5 a year, 2 cents a copy. The 'Press' and also the 'Star' are printed from stereotyped plates on a Scott-web perfecting printing and folding machine, with capacity of from 30,000 to 35,000 sheets an hour.

'Evening Telegram' is published by David O. Black, and edited by Henry Mann, 39 Weybosset St. It is independent in politics. It first appeared April 5, 1880. It is a folio. Sheet, 25 x 39. Terms, $5 a year, 2 cents a copy.

'Manufacturers' and Farmers' Journal' (semi-weekly), established in 1820, terms $3.50 a year; and the 'Rhode-Island Country Journal' (weekly), established in 1823, terms $2.50 a year, are issued by the publishers of the 'Journal'; the 'Rhode-Island Press' (weekly), established in 1859, terms $2 a year; and the 'Sunday Star', established in 1881, terms $2 a year, by the Providence Press Company; and the 'Sunday Telegram', established in 1875, terms $2 a year, by the publisher of the 'Evening Telegram'.

Other papers are the 'Providence Dispatch ($2.50 a year) and the 'Transcript' ($2 a year); the 'Visitor' (Sunday $2 a year, weekly $1.50 a year), the 'General Advertiser and Weekly Gazette' ($1 a year), 'Rhode-Island Democrat' ($2 a year), and the 'Providence Herald' ($1.50 a year), all weeklies; the 'Brunonioan', fort-nightly ($2.50 a year, $2 when paid in advance), Brown University students editors and publishers; and the 'Free Masons' Repository', monthly, ($2.50 a year).

NONOTUCK SILK CO., although its works are a hundred miles away, is well known to the people of Rhode Island, who are the constant purchasers of immense quantities of its knitting, sewing, etching, and other silks known as the 'Nonotuck', 'Corticelli' and 'Florence' brands. The business of the Nonotuck Co. was established forty years ago, and here was made the first sewing-machine twist produced anywhere in the world. The works are in the villages of Florence and Leeds, in the town of Northampton, Mass. They are some of the prettiest and most interesting mills in this country. Their floor surface is upwards of 100,000 sq. ft. 800 persons are employed, and 175,000 pounds of raw silk are consumed each year. A great specialty is made of the 'Florence Knitting-Silk'. The Co. received medals at Philadephia in 1876, at Paris in 1878, and at many other exhibitions and fairs. The New-England agent is Geo. D. Atkins of Boston.

NORTH BURIAL-GROUND. -- See Cemeteries.

NORTH MAIN ST. -- See Main St.