Town History

SmithfieldRhode Island (From Hayward’s New England Gazetteer of 1839)

Providence county. This is a large town, containing an area of about 10 by 6 miles, and a great variety of surface and soil.

Smithfield has generally an undulating surface, presenting an agreeable diversity of moderate eminences and gentle declivities; but in some sections it is considerably rough and broken.

The manufacture of lime is an important and extensive business, and affords employment to a great number of persons. There is also a quarry of white stone at what is called Woonsocket hill, that sustains heat remarkably well, which renders it very valuable for furnace hearths. About two miles distant from this there is a quarry containing excellent whetstones for edge tools.

The soil is a gravelly and sandy loam, with some sections of a calcareous loam. It is generally rich and fertile, although in some places it has been reduced by an exhausting system of cultivation. There are, however, some low and marshy tracts, which are generally appropriated to mowing, and afford good crops of grass. The agricultural productions consist of the various articles common to the climate; Indian corn, rye, wheat, barley, oats, potatoes, flax, beef, pork, butter, cheese, apples, cider and hay.

The waters of the town consist of the Blackstone, which washes its northeastern border, and a branch of this river, nearly of equal size, which intersects the town, discharging its waters into the former, in the northern sections of the town. After the union of these streams, the Blackstone is from one to two hundred feet in width. At some seasons of the year, it overflows its banks, and has been known to rise from 15 to 20 feet above its usual height. Besides these, there are numerous small streams, some of which afford valuable sites for mills and manufacturing establishments, which are mostly occupied. In the south part of the town, within about 4 miles from Providence, there is a considerable body of water, called Scots Pond. It is nearly a mile in length, about half a mile in width, and of great depth. What is remarkable in this pond, is the steep descent of its shores. Cases have occurred, of persons being drowned in attempting to water their horses at this pond.

There is a remarkable fall of water upon the Blackstone river called Woonsocket falls, which is considered as quite a curiosity. The fall is about 20 feet, not perpendicular, but over a precipice of rocks for some distance. The fall of the water upon these rocks through a succession of ages, has occasioned numerous excavations, all of which are smooth and circular, and some of them very large, being sufficient to contain several hogsheads.

The beautiful village of Woonsocket is situated at these falls, on the line of Cumberland; the river dividing the towns, and the village into nearly equal parts. In this village are 15 cotton and 2 satinet factories, a large furnace, machine shops, sash factory, &c. The Blackstone canal passes through this village, and it is in contemplation to construct a rail road to meet the Boston and Providence rail road, either at Providence or at Dedham, Mass. This village is indeed a beautiful place, and exceedingly flourishing. It is 14 miles N.N.W. from Providence.

Slaterville is another beautiful village in this town, on Branch river, about 2 miles W. from Woonsocket.

Smithfield is a large manufacturing town, containing many other pleasant villages, almost exclusively devoted to manufacturing objects. The centre of the town lies 9 miles N.W. from Providence. Incorporated, 1730. Population, in 1830, 6,857.

© 2004–2007 NewEnglandTowns.org

Upcoming Events

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5:30 PM - Card Club
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10:30 PM - Playdough Fun
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Coffee, Cake & Conversation Tuesdays
01/24/2023    
10:30 am - 12:00 pm
Drop by our new morning book group "Coffee, Cake & Conversation” Tuesday mornings at 10:30. If you enjoy a casual atmosphere, where you can discuss [...]
Introduction to Sphero Edu
01/24/2023    
6:30 pm
Tuesday, January 24 @ 6:30pm. Sphero Robots are wireless robots that you can control from a smartphone or ipad. What these robots do is up [...]
January Story Times: Preschool
01/25/2023    
10:30 am - 11:00 am
$0.00
This story time will be for children ages 3 to 5 and will be held held on Wednesday mornings from 10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. [...]
Beanstack Reading Challenge: Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr.
01/27/2023 - 01/31/2023    
All Day
Jan 1, 2023 - Jan 31, 2023 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. inspired our nation as a prominent leader of the Civil Rights Movement. Each [...]
Anime Club (Teen Program)
01/27/2023    
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
We meet monthly to watch 2-3 episodes of an anime and enjoy a few snacks. Screenings vary from classic anime to new releases and are [...]
Come & Create in the MakerSpace
01/28/2023    
10:30 am - 12:30 pm
Join us in our MakerSpace every fourth Saturday from 10:30 am - 12:30 pm!
Creative Writing Workshop (Teen Program)
01/28/2023    
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
$0.00
At this casual, beginner’s workshop, learn ways to start a story, try on different craft techniques, peer review work, and share your own work. Don’t [...]
Drop-In Tech Help
01/30/2023    
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Stop by the library on Mondays at 11 am for drop in tech help. Have a more complicated question? Email tech@myespl.org before you come in.
Fantasy Book Club
01/30/2023    
6:00 pm
$0.00
Title: Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas Description: In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, Celaena, an assassin, is [...]
INTRODUCTION TO 3-D PRINTING
01/30/2023    
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
$0.00
INTRODUCTION TO 3-D PRINTING – The East Smithfield Public Library is excited to announce our acquisition of a Dremel DigiLab 3DPrinter. You may have seen [...]
Coffee, Cake & Conversation Tuesdays
01/31/2023    
10:30 am - 12:00 pm
Drop by our new morning book group "Coffee, Cake & Conversation” Tuesday mornings at 10:30. If you enjoy a casual atmosphere, where you can discuss [...]
January Story Times: Tiny Tots Story Time
01/31/2023    
10:30 am - 11:00 am
$0.00
This story time is for children ages 18months to 3 years old and will be held on Tuesdays mornings from 10:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. [...]
Knitting and Crochet Group
01/31/2023    
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Join us every other Tuesday evening for an informal knitting and crochet group where we will work on our own projects and support each other. [...]
January Story Times: Preschool
02/01/2023    
10:30 am - 11:00 am
$0.00
This story time will be for children ages 3 to 5 and will be held held on Wednesday mornings from 10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. [...]
Walk & Talk Book Chat
02/02/2023    
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
$0.00
Drop in any Thursday morning to enjoy nature and chat about the books that you’ve been reading. Weather permitting - we will email at 10 [...]
Bookworms Book Group: 2022 -2023 School Year
02/02/2023    
4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Any child in 2nd or 3rd grade along with their parent/caregiver may join us for this book group. In February, we will meet on Thursday, [...]
Card Club
02/02/2023    
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
$0.00
February is the perfect time for card making. We will be learning some fun watercolor techniques to make backgrounds for an array of Valentine themed [...]
Virtual Game Night
02/02/2023    
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Join us on Discord every Thursday night from 6-8 pm for game night! Whether you typically play board games or are an avid video gamer [...]
Painting Party (Teen Program)
02/03/2023    
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
$0.00
Create a painting by following along with a step-by-step Bob Ross video. Bob Ross was an American painter and the host of the show The [...]
Playdough Fun
02/04/2023    
10:30 pm - 11:15 pm
$0.00
Come to the library to explore the benefits of playing with playdough. Playdough is fun for all ages, but this program will be for children [...]
Events on 01/24/2023
Events on 01/25/2023
Events on 01/30/2023
Drop-In Tech Help
30 Jan 23
Fantasy Book Club
30 Jan 23
INTRODUCTION TO 3-D PRINTING
30 Jan 23
Smithfield
Events on 02/01/2023
Events on 02/02/2023
Events on 02/03/2023
Events on 02/04/2023
Playdough Fun
4 Feb 23