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  EST 1638 = 369 years old  


Pawtuxet Village Historic Houses in Warwick


PAWTUXET BRIDGE Soon after 1638 Stephen Arnold and Zachariah Rhodes built a grist mill at the Warwick end of the early Pawtuxet Bridge.  Ships would bring corn from farms around Providence to Pawtuxet to be ground into corn meal. In the early 1800s this grist mill was replaced by a small gable-roofed yarn mill owned by Christopher and William Rhodes. In the latter part of the nineteeth century, a village blacksmith and carriage shop dominated the Warwick side of the Pawtuxet Bridge. In 1909 there was apparently a rather obnoxious "whiskey bottle" billboard disfiguring the view of Pawtuxet Cove as seen from the Pawtuxet Bridge.  The Pawtuxet Old Home and Improvement Association fought a long and hard battle to have such billboards removed or covered up with trees.

. With the trademark white gazebo and the walkways, Pawtuxet Park has become a summer favorite for people throughout the area. There are often band concerts and other activities in the Park. The Park was acquired by the City of Warwick through the efforts of former Mayors Eugene McCaffrey and Joseph Walsh.

17-23 BANK STREET, (c1775). Double structure, two-and-a-half story, flank gable, massive chimney. Two story wings were added to the south and rear. Constructed by a sea captain, possibly by Andrew Barton. A sea captain lived in each end. The dwelling could have housed workers for the local mill industry in the village.

27 BANK STREET, (c1725-1770) Lee House. Colonial house with a plain entrance and several rear additions. Two small interior brick chimneys are in place of the massive original chimney.

Aspray Boat House. The Aspray Boathouse is the headquarters of the Gaspee Day Committee Still retaining the name of Dick Aspray, this building was originally a boat maintenance and overhaul shop. It was remodelled in the 1990s by local volunteer groups and now proudly serves as a community center, polling station, and meeting hall. The interior houses a number of Gaspee-inspired memorabilia. During the administration of Mayors Francis X. Flaherty and Lincoln Chafee, it was deeded to the Gaspee Days Committee. The Aspray Boathouse together with the adjoining Pawtuxet Park are at the very heart of the community.

(c1720-1804), Fisher House. Two story, gable-roofed. The two lower front rooms were originally a store. In 1804 it became a dwelling and a second floor was added. The ell, dated 1715-20, was a small dwelling brought from another location and added to the front structure.

42 FAIR STREET (c1850), Eleanor F. Rhodes House. A handsome, one-and-a-half story, gable-roofed Greek Revival, set end to street. This is Warwick's finest surviving Greek Revival structure. It was owned in 1855 by J. W. Arnold. Possibly built by William C. Rhodes, a local housewright who constructed several other Greek Revival dwellings in the village.

69 FAIR STREET (c1820-1848), Fair House. Two-and-a-half story, pedimented end gable. Greek Revival exhibition hall with Italianate remodeling. Sits on land that was the old fairgrounds. The Rhode Island Society for the Encouragement of Domestic Industry, with James Rhodes the President, held its fairs here yearly in the early 1800's.  These fairs were forerunners of county fairs and were held here for 20 years. The exhibition hall was remodeled into a beautiful residence.

130 FAIR STREET, (1799) Col. Ephraim Bowen House. Two-and-a-half story shingle, large and ornate. Built for Col. Ephraim Bowen, the grounds extended to the shoreline. Bowen died in 1840 at the age of 83, the last surviving member of the 64 men that banded together to row from Providence to Namquit Point (now Gaspee Point) to burn the H.M.S. Gaspee in 1772.

NARRAGANSETT PARKWAY and Peck Street, (c1898) O'Rourke's Bar and Grille. Two-and-a-half story, mansard-
roofed building that stood on Post Road until the Parkway was constructed. Formerly known as the Gaspee Lounge, the first floor was always used for commercial businesses, with apartments above.

(1638) Captain Crandall House. One-and-a-half story, gambrel-roofed, unique cottage. This was once a one room residence with a summer beam, and was moved from Prudence Island to Pawtuxet on a barge.

37 NORTH FAIR STREET, (1720-1800) The Old Stillhouse.  A very unique dwelling that has always been known as the Stillhouse. It was built in three sections. The front is dated as 1720, the middle is the old Stillhouse built by Ephraim Bowen circa 1800 on the shore of his estate. Around 1850 it was moved to this location and added to the old house. At a later period an ell was added, that is believed to have been a blacksmith shop on the abutting property.

PECK STREET, was laid out in 1734 as Peck Lane. At the foot of this narrow street, the captured crewmen from the Gaspee were brought ashore on the night of June 10, 1772 and marched to a nearby farmhouse where they spent the night in the cellar. (The house was demolished in 1962). Benjamin Smith had a shipyard at the shoreline. Here Pawtuxet ships large
and small to be manned by Pawtuxet men were built for the West Indies and southern coastal trade from the early 1700's until 1850. There was no room here for cordage to be made for the rigging of the vessels. The rope walk was from the back of the Carr property and ran 600 feet down South Atlantic Avenue.

, (c1775) Kearsage House, Two-and-a-half story, gable-roofed, built before 1775 and altered during the 19th century. Used as a saloon in the 1800's, with a long porch facing the street.

6-8 POST ROAD, (c1775) Smith House.  Two-and-a-half story, central chimney, gable-roofed dwelling, also built before 1775. It was moved from a site closer to Post Road to its present location when the northern end of Narragansett Parkway was constructed in 1923.

10 POST ROAD, (c1775), One-and-a-half story, gambrel-roofed with a small center chimney. In 1890 it was occupied by the Harris family. Jabe Harris was an expressman whose route was from Pawtuxet to Providence and return. He had two mules pulling the wagon. This house has undergone extensive additions and is set back off the road.

18 POST ROAD, (c1760) Old Post Office and Port of Entry. Two-and-a-half story, gambrel-roofed with 20th century additions and alterations. When Narragansett Parkway was constructed the northeast corner was truncated and a flat roofed commercial addition was added. The original part served as a customs house, where in 1805 at least 30 freight-carrying vessels were registered.  The first resident surveyor was Zachariah Rhodes and the last was Capt. George H. Pettis, when a two-masted schooner with 250 tons of coal entered the cove on June 29, 1898. Later it continued to serve the village as a post office.

25 POST ROAD, (1800) Christopher Rhodes House. A typical two-story center chimney Federal house with a beautiful fanlight doorway. Christopher Rhodes received his title of Brigadier General of the Fourth Brigade of Rhode Island Militia in May 1809. He married Betsy Allen of South Kingstown and they had three daughters and two sons. Christopher was a prominent member of the family that established the Pawtuxet Bank, and later served as a member of the General Assembly and as a prison inspector. In this house the three daughters were married.  Eliza married John R. Bartlett, an American author and artist born in Providence.  In 1855 he became Secretary of the State of Rhode Island serving until 1872. He authored many valuable historical records, his best known being The History of the Destruction of the Gaspee. Christopher's daughter Sarah married Henry B. Anthony of Coventry. In 1840 he became editor of the Providence Journal, living in the Rhodes house. He was elected Governor of Rhode Island in 1849 and 1850 and United States Senator from 1859 until his death in 1884. The third daughter married Joshua Mauran of Providence. The Rhodes house was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on March 31, 1971.

27-29 POST ROAD, (c1734) James and Malachi Rhodes House,  Two-and-a-half flank gable, flat top Federal doorway. The original southern portion of this structure was built in 1734 by James Rhodes, a three bay "half house" with end chimney. A northern addition was added in 1774 by his brother Malachi.

30-32 POST ROAD, (c1760) Nel Slocum House, Two-and-a-half story, flank-gable, turned from its original location facing the road. It now sits with its end to the road. An ell has been added and has a Victorian entry hood. In its first days the first floor was a tavern and now the old Slocum Tavern has an antique store.  Horatio Nelson "Nel" Slocum was an early Pawtuxet Village fixture and oral historian.

PAWTUXET MILESTONE, Stands facing Post Road at the end of the Slocum House. This granite marker was placed by merchant John Brown to mark five miles between Providence bridge and his country estate at Spring Green.

37 POST ROAD, (c1770) Sylvester and Mary Rhodes House. Center chimney, two-and-a-half story, gable-roofed dwelling with flat Federal doorway. Built by James Rhodes on land left to him by his father Malachi Rhodes. James deeded the house to his son Sylvester, who married Mary Aborn.

40 POST ROAD, (1814) The Pawtuzet Bank Building, (Bank Cafe). This mansard-roofed building was erected in October 1814 by brothers Christopher and William Rhodes, as a chartered bank to finance their infant textile empire and to serve the coastal trade of the village. The ground floor was occupied as a bank and the second floor was used by the Pawtuxet Union Academy, a private school for girls. It remained a bank until 1845 when the business moved to Providence. For many years it was the home of Dr. George W. Carr. The veranda was added in 1866. The Bank Cafe was established by James Tinker as a hotel and eating place in the late 1870's. He introduced the Rhode Island Jonnycakes. The building has had many owners and closed its doors in the mid 1990's and is now a private residence. The structure was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on April 24, 1973.

47-49 POST ROAD, (1740) Captain Thomas Remington House.  A two-and-a-half story, gable-roofed dwelling with paired interior chimneys and a fanlight doorway of the Federal period. It has been told that the Captain was in the slave trade and quartered his slaves in a small building behind his house and held slave auctions in a barn.

69 POST ROAD, (c1811) Gaol House. This building was uesed as a small jail house. When no longer used for this purpose it became a Boy Scout meeting hall. In later years it was turned around, an addition added, and it became a residence.

90 POST ROAD, (1785) John and Jeremia Randall House.  A one-and a-half story, gable-roofed, modest cottage

94 POST ROAD, (c1760) Wightman House.  A two-and-ahalf story, gambrel-roofed dwelling with Victorian door hood and bay windows added in the 19th century.

,  (c1740), Two-and-a-half story, flank gable, center chimney. Owned by the Sherman family from at least the mid 19th century.

110 POST ROAD, (1790) George Sheldon House. Two-and-a-half story, gable-roofed, small interior chimney and a Federal entrance. Two story east ell.

118 POST ROAD, (1740) The Carder Tavern. Two-and-a-half story, flank gable, clapboard and shingle, central hall plan. Used as the main inn or tavern in the 18th century for travelers on Post Road. One story about this old stagecoach stop is that following General Burgoyne's surrender at Saratoga on October 17, 1777, part of his British army, escorted by the Pawtuxet
Rangers, marched through Pawtuxet on their way to homeward bound ships at Boston. They halted at this old tavern for half an hour, allowing the Pawtuxet men a chance to see their families before continuing their march through Providence to Boston. It is also said that Chan and Eng, the original Siamese twins, stopped here overnight during their New England tour in 1829.

(c1760) Captain John Carr House. This house had its Victorian door hood added in the 19th century. The Captain had this dwelling built with a rounded ell to remind him of his cabin aboard ship.  It was squared off in later years.

131 POST ROAD, (c1860) H. L. Johnson House.  Greek Revival/early Victorian. One-and-a-half story gable-roofed dwelling with porch. Henry Johnson built this for his residence. He had a blacksmith shop near the Pawtuxet bridge. It operated into the 20th century.

, (1798) William Rhodes House. Two-and-a-half story clapboard, central entrance with four end chimneys and a front door with fanlight. Fine example of the Federalist period. Approximately fifty years after the house was built, an addition was added. It has been said that Col. Rhodes used it as slave quarters. Set back from the road, this is the first house one sees when entering the actual historic district.

. Located on the boundary of the historic district on Post Road. Within this cemetery lies the remains of numerous colonial citizens and memorials to seafaring villagers who lost their lives at sea. Special note should be paid to the graves of William Sheldon, Dorothy Iselin Paschal, and L. Hazard Knowles.

59 REMINGTON STREET, (1843) Pawtuxet Armory. This building on the corner of Bank and Remington, was erected in 1843 by the state as an Armory for the Pawtuxet Artillary after the Dorr War Rebellion. It was a gift to the Pawtuxet Artillery for remaining loyal to the Law & Order Party. In 1853 the lower rooms were used by the District of Pawtuxet to keep their fire apparatus. Armory Hall was also the second Temple of Harmony Lodge where meetings were held for fifty years. After going to a private resident, the Pawtuxet Rangers again acquired the building, restored it and have paid off its mortgage.

(1797).  Side gabled, early cape set low into the ground with a pitched roof. Altered over the years, this could have been used as a meeting place by the Pawtuxet Baptist Church.

25-27 SOUTH FAIR STREET, (c1830) Octagon-shaped house, the only one in Pawtuxet. This two-story building with
alterations, was constructed during the octagon house craze of the 1830's. One corner was built out, giving the house the shape of an irregular heptagon. Subsequent alterations have obliterated the original architectural character of the dwelling.



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