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Preserve America is a national initiative in cooperation with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation; the U.S. Departments of Defense, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, and Education; the National Endowment for the Humanities; the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities; and the President's Council on Environmental Quality.

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Preserve America Community:
North Smithfield, Rhode Island

North Smithfield (population 10,618) is comprised of five villages which originated around mills and manufacturing sites. Slatersville Village is America's first planned industrial village, created by John Slater, brother of Samuel Slater, "The Father of the Industrial Revolution."

Grange building, North Smithfield, Rhode Island Grange building, North Smithfield, Rhode Island (Photo courtesy of Blackstone River Valley)

A self-guided walking tour helps visitors to appreciate the well-preserved resources of the Slatersville historic district, including the extant Slatersville Mill.

In Waterford Village, the remains of another mill complex are the focal point of a new town planning initiative. When constructed, the Mammoth Mill (1836) was thought to be the largest mill in the country. Today, the site of the mill is marked by building foundations, dams, canals, locks, and raceways.

Recently donated to the town, the site is undergoing initial archeological investigation. This study will form the basis for preserving and interpreting the overgrown and unused site. It is a planned terminus of the Blackstone River Bikeway, and docking facilities for the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council's river boat tours are also proposed, which will help to make the Mammoth Mill ruins an important new tourism asset.

For more information

Town of North Smithfield: www.northsmithfieldri.com

Updated May 13, 2009

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