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Greystone Mills

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  • Greystone Mills

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Title

Greystone Mills

Description

Image of the Greystone Mills located in North Providence, Rhode Island.

The area later known as Greystone was initially the site of the Cooper Farm, one of five large farms that dominated the North Providence economy during the late eighteenth century.

The Angell family owned a large tract of land on the Johnston side of the river adjacent to the Greystone village site, which is now known as the neighborhood of Graniteville (Nebiker and Wright 1976:3)2. Captain Olney Angell, along with Peleg Williams and Materson Latham, developed the first mill privilege at Greystone in 1813, when they built a dam and two-story stone cotton mill north of the current Greystone Mill on the north side of Greystone Avenue in 1813. Three years later, they sold the mill to Richard Anthony, a founder of the Coventry Company mill at Anthony in Coventry, Rhode Island. Anthony made cotton yarn and cloth at this mill until 1835, when he sold it to Joseph Wescott who enlarged the building and installed yarn spinning frames in 1862.

The name “Greystone” appears to date from this era, and an 1835 map of North Providence shows “Anthony’s Greystone Mill” (Lockwood and Cushing 1835). The first buildings erected in the Greystone district included Richard’s and his son, James Anthony’s homes at 154-56 and 201 Waterman Avenue, and three buildings on Greystone Avenue, west of Waterman Avenue, that were associated with the early mill (Lockwood and Cushing 1835). By 1853, this section of Greystone Avenue encompassed 11 buildings, including the early mill, and a house was constructed at 146 Waterman Avenue (Lorican and Christie 1853).

In 1872 the first mill building burned and was rebuilt by James & George Campbell for rag paper production. It burned again in 1877 and was partially rebuilt by the White Brothers of Chepachet who used it as a gristmill. In 1882 it was the property of Messrs. James Campbell & Son, who made wool shoddy and later sold their property to the Joseph Benn & Sons Company in 1903 as part of that company’s land purchases for the Greystone Mill (Bayles 1891:185; Providence Board of Trade Journal 1903a).

The building was used as a storehouse by the Greystone Mill during the twentieth century. It was still standing as late as the early 1950s, and was a visible ruin in the late 1970s. The ruins have been subsequently filled in and are no longer visible.
Source: National Register of Historic Places
Registration Form- Greystone Mill Village Historic District

Source

2009-11

Publisher

Rhode Island State Archives

Date

1909

Rights

Copyright is in the public domain unless otherwise specified. We reserve the right to restrict reproduction of materials due to preservation concerns.

Format

jpeg

Language

eng

Still Image Item Type Metadata

Original Format

glass negative

Citation

"Greystone Mills," in Virtual Exhibits, Item #363, http://www.sos.ri.gov/virtualarchives/items/show/363 (accessed August 21, 2014).