Pawtucket: A Historic City Looks to the Future

Ocean State

About the Author

More about 

Pawtucket: A Historic City Looks to the Future

Pawtucket occupies an important place in the history of Rhode Island.  Its first European settler was Joseph Jenks, a skilled ironworker who purchased some 70 acres of land surrounding the Pawtucket falls in 1671.  Jenks, whose last name has also been spelled as Jenckes and Jencks, is considered the founder of Pawtucket.  His sawmill, forge and the small town that grew up around them were burned to the ground during King Phillip’s War (1675-1676).

Starting the American Industrial Revolution

Over 100 years later, Samuel Slater arrived.  Slater had been born in Derbyshire, England.  He began as an apprentice to Jedidiah Strutt, a partner of British genius Richard Arkwright, whose inventions helped create the first successful water-powered spinning mills.  Slater rose to become Superintendent of Strutt’s mill.  He dreamed of achieving success with a mill of his own.

For years, cloth had been manufactured by hand.  In working class homes, nearly every unmarried female made homespun thread on a spinning wheel.  Those who remained unmarried and continued spinning became known as spinsters.

Arkwright and his predecessors invented machinery that could card cotton fibers, removing tangles and preparing them for spinning.  Arkwright also invented a water-powered spinning machine that created strong cotton thread.  Using it and similar machinery, Great Britain soon became a manufacturing powerhouse in the Western world.  British cloth made English mill owners rich.  To preserve their great commercial advantage, the British government made exporting textile machinery plans a crime.  Any caught taking blueprints out of England faced years of imprisonment.

Samuel Slater, however, possessed a photographic memory.  He boarded a ship for America with the plans for Arkwright’s water-driven textile machinery locked safely in his brain.  Sponsored by merchants Moses Brown and William Almy, Slater built America’s first water-powered spinning mill at the Pawtucket falls.  They built a short dam across the river to create a waterfall that allowed Slater’s mill to take water from the top of the dam, use its weight to turn a large waterwheel, and discharge the water at the bottom of the dam.  Slater’s artificial waterfall is a familiar scene in downtown Pawtucket today.

Soon, other textile mills sprang up across Pawtucket.  These prospered into the 20th century.  The Great Depression, though, took a big toll on the textile industry in Pawtucket.  Some mills closed due to declining sales, while others moved south to lower costs.  However, other industries have continued to do well.  The best known company is powerhouse toy maker Hasbro.

Hassenfeld Brothers, Inc. began in the 1920s selling cloth remnants. They soon began manufacturing school supplies like pencil boxes and then pencils.  In the 1950s, the rebranded Hasbro introduced classic toy Mr. Potato Head and began producing Disney character toys.  By 1960 it was one of the largest toymakers in the world.  Toys are just one of hundreds of different products made by Pawtucket manufacturers.

Sights to see in Pawtucket

Besides the Slater Mill Historic Site in downtown Pawtucket, there are a number of interesting places to visit in the city.  One of these is undoubtedly Slater Memorial Park.  Slater Park, as it’s commonly known, is one of the oldest public parks in America.  Located on the site of the old Daggett Farm, Slater Park contains the Daggett House, the oldest dwelling in Pawtucket.  It was built in 1685 after the original farmhouse was burned down in King Philip’s War.

The Looff Carousel at Slater Park, under renovation until August of 2019, was chosen as the National Historic Carousel of the Year in 2018 by the National Carousel Association.  Master carousel maker Charles Looff built it in 1895 for a carnival in New York State.  In 1910, the carousel was brought to Slater Park and later purchased by the city.

It features carved horses, dogs (rare), chariots, a camel, lion, and giraffe.  Loof superbly carved them in the ornate Coney Island style.  The carousel boasts an organ that plays Wurlitzer player piano rolls.  It is one of the fastest carousels in the nation, whirling along at 9 mph.

The Hope Artiste Village occupies the historic Hope Webbing Mill on Main Street.  It now contains the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame, retail shops, artist lofts and the state’s only indoor Farmer’s Market, held every Saturday morning.  The site also features a concert hall, bowling alley and restaurants.

Pawtucket’s Future

While Hasbro remains the largest Pawtucket-based manufacturer, there is a diverse group of companies, from low-tech to high tech, in the city.  The textile industry lives on in the specialty textile manufacturers that continue to thrive there.

Pawtucket is developing a reputation as a craft beer brewer’s mecca.  A number of breweries have sprung up in the city.  This gives beer drinkers an opportunity to enjoy some outstanding and unique brews in craft brewers’ taprooms and sometimes in local taverns.

While history will always be a key part of Pawtucket, the city continues to grow and develop.  New uses are found for old buildings.  Artists are moving into newly created loft space in historic mills that are old but still structurally sound.

Pawtucket’s growth began thanks to Samuel Slater’s photographic memory.  It will continue to grow due to the vision of people who, like Slater, use imagination and drive to turn the city’s resources into a profitable future.

Pawtucket: A Historic City Looks to the Future

Larry Rondeau is the Executive Director of Discover Rhode Island facebookPawtucket occupies an important place in the history of Rhode Island.  Its first European settler was Joseph Jenks, a skilled ironworker who purchased some 70 acres of land surrounding the...

Interview with local artist Shirley Bell

Since 1983 Shirley Bell has been creating from her home in Jamestown RI. Shirley paints mostly plein air and attributes her fresh, spontaneous painting style to her first  efforts to achieve the correct color and value of her subjects. In 2002, Shirley launched her...

Interview with local artist Shirley Bell

Ocean State

About the Author

Since 1983 Shirley Bell has been creating from her home in Jamestown RI. Shirley paints mostly plein air and attributes her fresh, spontaneous painting style to her first  efforts to achieve the correct color and value of her subjects. In 2002, Shirley launched her own successful stationery business. Selling stationery with over 300 of her designs on it to numerous gift shops throughout New England. Her focus now is on painting original art full time. Her joy of painting is evident when you experience one of her vibrant works.

More about 

Interview: Shirley Bell

  1. Tell us about your work:

Shirley Bell has been creating her expressive watercolors from her home on Conanicut Island, Jamestown RI. Since 1983. Watercolor is the perfect medium for capturing her subjects ranging from flowers in her gardens, animals, insects, people, and her coastal island life. Shirley paints mostly plein air and attributes her fresh, spontaneous painting style to her first try efforts to achieve the correct color and value of her subjects. In 2002, Shirley launched her own successful stationery business. Selling stationery with over 300 of her designs on it to numerous gift shops throughout New England. Her focus now is on painting original art full time. Her joy of painting is evident when you experience one of her vibrant works.

 

  1. How long have you been in Rhode Island?

I have lived in RI my whole life. Jamestown for most of it. I can’t imagine living any place that’s more beautiful.

 

  1. What do you {heart} abut Rhode Island?

Rhode Islanders are the best at supporting local artists and businesses.

 

  1. What’s your favorite item to

create?

I love painting scenic Jamestown landscapes and still life flowers from my gardens but will paint almost any subject, it is always changing. My stationery business still keeps me busy but am cutting back to focus more on painting original watercolors.

 

  1. What’s your best seller?

I have many bestselling designs due to my large range of subject matter. For my stationery business, it has been my Christmas cards. My originals, cards and prints as well as some gift items are on my website and Fuller Gallery in Jamestown RI. or at my studio, open to the public.

 

  1. Favorite place to take out of

towners?

I always take people from out of town on a tour of my favorite places in Jamestown followed by a dinner of fresh clams, hard and soft shell, from the beach across from our house. There is nothing better than that!

 

  1. Any ideas for new/wannabe makers?

Being an artist is hard work but worth it. To be able to create a piece of work you can be proud of is such a high. My business is always changing to adapt to new technologies, social media and my own ever-changing interests. I admire anyone who has the courage to create art as it is no small thing.

 


This article originally appeared at http://www.iheartrhody.com/2018/07/artist-shirley-bell-jamestown.html

 

More from this month’s issue

Pawtucket: A Historic City Looks to the Future

Larry Rondeau is the Executive Director of Discover Rhode Island facebookPawtucket occupies an important place in the history of Rhode Island.  Its first European settler was Joseph Jenks, a skilled ironworker who purchased some 70 acres of land surrounding the...

Interview with local artist Shirley Bell

Since 1983 Shirley Bell has been creating from her home in Jamestown RI. Shirley paints mostly plein air and attributes her fresh, spontaneous painting style to her first  efforts to achieve the correct color and value of her subjects. In 2002, Shirley launched her...

Dive into a story filled with mystery, set right here in the Ocean State!

Ocean State

About the Author

Judith A. Boss is the author of two novels and several short stories as well as five college textbooks, including THiNK and Analyzing Moral Issues, both among the top sellers in their fields. Prior to pursuing a career in academia, she worked as a writer/researcher for the Nova Scotia Museum. After moving to Rhode Island, she continued writing and also taught ethics and logic at the University of Rhode Island. She currently lives in southern Rhode Island with her family.

More about 

"Fall from Grace" A Zoe Delaney mystery

When her beloved Aunt Grace is found dead on the floor of her bedroom, eleven-year-old Zoe Delaney is convinced it was murder. Determined to get to the truth of the matter, and with the help of a journal she finds under her aunt’s bed, Zoe sets out to investigate her aunt’s death.  Her covert investigation soon turns up evidence that her aunt, a highly regarded ethics professor at Rhode Island College, might not have been the person Zoe and others thought she was.  Zoe is forced to face the possibility that, rather than being an innocent victim, her Aunt Grace may have murdered several people  Should Zoe turn her discoveries over to her parents–and the  police–or destroy the evidence and save her aunt’s reputation?

Pawtucket: A Historic City Looks to the Future

Larry Rondeau is the Executive Director of Discover Rhode Island facebookPawtucket occupies an important place in the history of Rhode Island.  Its first European settler was Joseph Jenks, a skilled ironworker who purchased some 70 acres of land surrounding the...

Interview with local artist Shirley Bell

Since 1983 Shirley Bell has been creating from her home in Jamestown RI. Shirley paints mostly plein air and attributes her fresh, spontaneous painting style to her first  efforts to achieve the correct color and value of her subjects. In 2002, Shirley launched her...

Makeup must-haves that won’t break your budget

Ocean State

About the Author

My name is Jenn and I am the girl behind Dressed in Blessings. I am a part time fashion, makeup & lifestyle blogger; however, in my day to day life I am a full time Graphic Designer! I have a passion for not only design but I also love photography & videography. I am a twenty three year old on a budget & love to share all of my shopping tips & tricks!

More about 

Best of Budget Beauty: Makeup must-haves that won’t break your budget

Beauty products have gotten to be so pricey these days, haven’t they?

I think this is a topic we all struggle with. Whether it be skincare or makeup products, the price issue still rears its ugly head.

 

Not only do we want beauty products that are more budget friendly, but we would also love to have products that don’t have any toxic chemicals in them or products that did not harm any other living creatures throughout the process of its creation.

 

Once upon a time, a request like this would have seemed totally farfetched and completely unattainable, but luckily for us, times sure have changed!

 

While top tier beauty brands have been “clean” for many years now (i.e. Too Faced/Tarte), recently, drug store makeup brands have started to step up to the plate, and their competition is really starting to feel the pressure.

 

Of course, as soon as these “Drugstore Giants” made the move to be “clean”, the top tier brands started to see their customers waiver and stray to try the new and much more affordable options. But what it all boils down to is this very question:

“Is the cheaper product really as good as the more expensive product?”

 

There are many questions we need to ask ourselves when determining whether or not the cheaper product truly is better than the higher end/pricier product.

– Is the pigmentation of the product on par with the higher end option?

– Is the formula as rich or as smooth as the higher end product?

– Are the ingredients in the budget friendly product on par with the higher end brand?

– What is the longevity of the budget friendly product?

 

These are a lot of questions that most of us just don’t have the time to answer.

 

That’s what I’m here for!

Here are some of my favorite tried and true budget beauty products that are must- haves for any makeup bag.

 

Elf Lock on Liner & Brow Cream

$4.00

Cruelty Free & Vegan

 

This brow pommade has lasted me such a long time and wears so well! It will last me the entire day with little to no smudge.

My only gripe is that the formula does dry out a bit in the container after multiple uses, but that can be easily fixed by dampening your brush!

 

Eco Tools: Start the Day

Beautifully Kit

$12.99

Cruelty Free & Tree Free/

Recycled Materials

 

These brushes are on par with top tier brands. The bristles hold up well after daily use and they blend beautifully. Plus, they come with a great storage container too!

 

NYX Butter Glosses

$2.50-$5.00

Cruelty Free

 

These glosses are exactly as advertised: Like Butter! They go on so smoothly and they have just the right amount of pigment. They also aren’t too tacky and sticky, which can be an issue with most glosses.

 

Colourpop Flexitarian Highlighter

$8.00

Cruelty Free

 

Highlighter is so on trend right now and I hope it never stops; however finding a highlighter that gives you the perfect glow without breaking the budget can be tough. This highlighter is by far the best I’ve seen at such a low price point!

 

These truly are the top products in my makeup bag. I use them regularly and they have all held up so wonderfully. Finding high quality makeup at a budget friendly price is always such a great feeling (and it feels even better when all of the companies are cruelty free and vegan!)

 

I hope that your experience with these products is just as amazing & that they become tried and true pieces in your makeup bag too!

Pawtucket: A Historic City Looks to the Future

Larry Rondeau is the Executive Director of Discover Rhode Island facebookPawtucket occupies an important place in the history of Rhode Island.  Its first European settler was Joseph Jenks, a skilled ironworker who purchased some 70 acres of land surrounding the...

Interview with local artist Shirley Bell

Since 1983 Shirley Bell has been creating from her home in Jamestown RI. Shirley paints mostly plein air and attributes her fresh, spontaneous painting style to her first  efforts to achieve the correct color and value of her subjects. In 2002, Shirley launched her...