Ann and Hope Mills

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Ann and Hope Mills


Images of the Ann and Hope Mills in Cumberland (Lonsdale), Rhode Island.

Ann & Hope was founded by Martin Chase, who was born in 1906 in Kiev, Ukraine, and moved with his family to Providence, Rhode Island at age six. He was the only one of six sons not to work in his father's automobile repair business. Instead, when he was 20, he got a job working at a store called Fintex. After Fintex closed its doors in 1929, Chase worked at Howard's Clothes until 1933. Then he started Chase Clothing, where he undersold other area clothing stores by reducing overhead: for example he did not offer alterations and used inexpensive store fixtures.

As World War II approached, the clothing market fell into decline, and Chase began to look for another line of work. In 1946, he purchased the Ann & Hope Mill complex in the village of Lonsdale in Cumberland, Rhode Island. He split the large, empty mill into several small pieces and rented them individually.

Some time before December 1953, one of the tenants left the Mill, leaving a large amount of ribbon behind. Rather than dispose of it, the Chases opened the area to the other employees of the Mill and sold the ribbon. Chase then had the idea to reopen a clothing store in the Mill, initially on the third floor. By the following spring, the operation had become large enough that it was relocated to the ground floor. Over time more products were added, and by 1969, Ann & Hope was a $40 million per year operation.
Source: Ann & Hope- From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia




Rhode Island State Archives


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Still Image Item Type Metadata

Original Format

glass negative


"Ann and Hope Mills," in Virtual Exhibits, Item #352, (accessed June 29, 2017).