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PAWTUCKET

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V20, Page 977 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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PAWTUCKET, a city of Providence county, Rhode Island, U.S.A., on the Blackstone river (known below the Pawtucket Falls here as the Pawtucket or Seekonk river), 4 M. N. of Providence, and near the city of Central Falls. Pop. (1905, state census), 43,381, of whom 14,369 were foreign-born, including 4273 English, 3484 Irish, 2706 French Canadians, and 1198 Scotch; (1910), 51,622. Pawtucket is served by the New York, New Haven & Hartford railroad; and the river is navigable below the falls. The city lies on both sides of the river and its land area in 1906 was nearly 8.6 m. The east bank of the river rises quite abruptly 15-30 ft., but back of this the surface is level or only slightly undulating. On the west side the surface is more diversified. The Blackstone River here makes a picturesque plunge of nearly 50 ft. (Pawtucket Falls) over an irregular mass of rocks, providing a good water-power. The most attractive public building is the Sayles Memorial library, erected (1899-1902) by Frederick Clark Sayles (1835—1902) in memory of his wife. The city has a park of 181 acres in the east end, a park of 55 acres on the west side, three small parks near the business centre, a soldiers' monument, a home for the aged, an emergency hospital, and a state armoury. Manufacturing is the principal industry, and the value of the factory products increased from $19,271,582 in 290o to $25,846,899 in 1905, or 34.1%. More than one-half the value for 1905 was represented by textiles. Other important manufactures in 1905 were foundry and machine-shop products, packed meats, and electrical machinery, apparatus and supplies. The commerce of the city has been much increased by the deepening and widening of the channel of the Pawtucket river by the United States government. In 1867 the river could not be navigated at low water by boats drawing more than 5 ft. of water, but by March 1905 the government had constructed a channel 1c0 ft. wide and 12 ft. deep at low water, and Congress had passed an act for increasing the depth to 16 ft.; in 1907 the Federal Congress and the general assembly of the state made appropriations to complete the work. That portion of Pawtucket which lies east of the river was originally a part of the township of Rehoboth, Massachusetts, but in 1812 the township of Seekonk was set apart from Rehoboth, in 1828 the township of Pawtucket was set apart from Seekonk, and in 1862 almost all of the Massachusetts township of Pawtucket was transferred to Rhode Island. The portion west of the river was taken from the township of North Providence and annexed to the township of Pawtucket in 1874, and in 1885 Pawtucket was chartered as a city. The first settlement within the present city limits was made about 1670 on the west side by Joseph Jenks (c. 1632-1717), a manufacturer of domestic iron implements. His manufactory was destroyed during King Philip's War, but he rebuilt it, and until a century later the industries on the west side were managed largely by his family. In 1790 Samuel Slater reproduced here the Arkwright machinery for the manufacture of cotton goods; this was the first manufactory of the kind that had any considerable success in the United States, and his old mill is still standing in Mill Street. See R. Grieve, An Illustrated History of Pawtucket, Central Falls, and Vicinity (Pawtucket, 1897).
End of Article: PAWTUCKET
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