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flag  History of Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA

Journey back in time to Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA

Visit Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures, postcards and genealogy.

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Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA

Woonsocket, Providence, Rhode Island, USA

Woonsocket is also Indian named, the word signifying "at the place of mist."
How New England Towns Received Their Names
The Day
New London, Connecticut
October 21, 1914

Woonsocket Falls Village was founded in the 1820s. Its fortunes expanded as the Industrial Revolution took root in nearby Pawtucket. With the Blackstone River providing ample water power, the region became a prime location for textile mills. Woonsocket as a town was not established until 1867 when three villages in the town of Cumberland, namely Woonsocket Falls, Social and Jenckesville, officially became the town of Woonsocket. By this time the beginnings of the French Canadian emigration had definitely been felt.

In 1871, three additional industrial villages in Smithfield, Hamlet, Bernon and Globe, were added to the town establishing its present boundaries. Woonsocket was incorporated as city in 1888.

During the Great Depression the local textile industry closed, causing high unemployment. At this point 75 percent of the population was of French-Canadian descent. French-language newspapers were published and sold here, and radio programs and movies shown were also in French. Most conversations in public were also in French. The city's fortunes were revived in World War II, when it became a center of fabric manufacturing for the war effort. In the postwar years, the Woonsocket economy adjusted to a mix of manufacturing, retail, technology and financial services operations...

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There is MUCH more to discover about Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA. Read on!
  • 1840s - French Canadians Recruited from Quebec to Work in Mills
    French Huguenots, Dexter and George Ballou, were pioneers in Woonsocket's textile industry. As the textile industry in Woonsocket grew, so did the...Read MORE...


  • 1854 - Woonsocket / Beron / Hamlet / Jencksville / Globe / Union
    Woonsocket, a flourishing post-village of Smithfield and Cumberland townships. Providence co., Rhode Island, on both sides of the Blackstone river,...Read MORE...


  • News 1868 - Fire at Woonsocket.
    A fire was discovered in the large brick storage and dry-house owned by Messrs. WARD and HARRIS, in Woonsocket, about noon to-day. The fire...Read MORE...


  • News 1869 - A Woonsocket (R.I.) man offers $100 reward for the detection of the poisoner of his three pet kittens.

    St Joseph Herald
    Saint Joseph, Michigan
    January 23, 1869

  • News 1869 - Extensive Fire in Woonsocket, R. I., - Estimated Loss $100,000.
    WOONSOCKET, Wednesday, June 2. The most extensive fire that ever occurred in this village took place last evening at Elliott's Mills, breaking out in ...Read MORE...


  • 1872 - The first French-Canadian parish in Woonsocket was "Precieux Sang" - Precious Blood Church - established 1872.

    www.woonsocket.org/ french.html

  • News 1874 - LOSSES BY FIRE. DESTRUCTION OF THE SOCIAL MILLS IN RHODE ISLAND - LOSS $700,00 TO $800,000.
    The Social Mills, in Woonsocket, R. I., running 50,000 spindles and 1,000 looms on cotton goods, was entirely destroyed by fire yesterday afternoon....Read MORE...


  • News 1875 - FIRE IN WOONSOCKET, R. I.
    About 1 o'clock yesterday morning an attempt was made to burn the mansion of George C. Bolton, in Woonsocket, R. I. A wood-box saturated with...Read MORE...


  • News 1882 - LARGE FIRE IN WOONSOCKET. A DEPOT AND SEVERAL STORES DESTROYED - LOSS ABOUT $100,000.
    BOSTON, Mass., Jan. 25. - A special from Woonsocket, R. I., says: "A fire broke out at 2:30 A. M. in the basement of the Providence and Worcester...Read MORE...


  • News 1883 - LOSSES BY FIRE. The Woonsocket Hotel Partly Burned, The Escape of the Guests.
    WOONSOCKET, R. I., Sept. 29. - The Woonsocket hotel, owned by Cook, Mason & Co., was damaged to the amount of $10,000 by fire from a defective flue...Read MORE...


  • News 1886 - Killed After A Dance - WOONSOCKET, R.I., HAS A SUNDAY MORNING MURDER.
    Mitchell Deluge Shot Down by a Man with Whom He Had Been Intimate since Boyhood - The Victim's Ante-Mortem Statement.

    WOONSOCKET, Jan. 18. - The...Read MORE...


  • Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA

    Postcard
  • Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA
    View of Blackstone River near Pumping station
    Postcard
  • Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA
    Depot
    Postcard
  • 1892 - Woonsocket
    WOONSOCKET
    Although extending back nearly two and a-half centuries, there is little interest connected with the history of Woonsocket up to within a ...Read MORE...


  • News 1894 - Mill Fire
    Woonsocket, R. I., Sept. 18. - There was what threatened to be a serious fire this afternoon in the carbonizing department of the River Spinning...Read MORE...


  • 1895 - Woonsocket
    Woon'sock'et, a city of Rhode Island, and one of the capitals of Providence co., is situated at the northern boundary of the state, on both sides of...Read MORE...


  • News 1898 - A French-Canadian Exodus. Mill Operative Scared Away from New England Villages by War Talk.
    There has been a large exodus of French-Canadian families from the mill villages of New England from the mill villages of New England since the war...Read MORE...


  • News 1899 - Explosion
    WOONSOCKET, R. I., May 7. - Not only were all the buildings connected with the Woonsocket Driving Park burned this afternoon, but fifty pounds of...Read MORE...


  • 1900 - By 1900, sixty percent of Woonsocket's population was French-Canadian and Woonsocket was the most French city in the United States.

    www.woonsocket.org/ french.html

  • Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA
    Court St., Bridge, looking north
    Postcard
  • 1906
    Woon'sock'et, a city of Providence co., R.I., is situated at the northern boundary of the state, on both sided of the Blackstone River, 16 miles N....Read MORE...


  • Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA
    View Looking North from Bernon Heights, Woonsocket, R.I.
    Postcard
  • Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA
    Cold Spring Park, 1907
    Postcard
  • Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA
    High School
    Postcard
  • Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA
    City Hall
    Postcard
  • Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA
    Woonsocket Hospital
    Postcard
  • Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA
    Alice Mill (Woonsocket Rubber Co.)
    Postcard
  • Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA
    Bernon Falls
    Postcard
  • Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA
    Blackstone Street and Churches
    Postcard
  • Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA
    The Center of Woonsocket from the Bridge
    Postcard
  • Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA
    Depot
    Postcard
  • Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA
    Globe Congregational Church
    Postcard
  • Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA
    Lawton Spinning Company
    Postcard
  • Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA
    Woonsocket Machine and Press Co.
    Postcard
  • Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA
    Social Mill
    Postcard
  • Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA
    Soldiers Monument, Main Street, Woonsocket, R. I.
    Postcard
  • Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA
    North Main St. and St. James Hotel, Woonsocket, R.I.
    Postcard
  • Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA
    Congregational Church, 1912
    Postcard
  • News 1913 - POLICE ARREST MAN FOR ATTEMPT TO MURDER WIFE
    Lukasz Luczkewiz Captured in Worcester Last Night for Woonsocket Office

    Also Being Held on Bigamy Charge, the Police Declare Today

    The dragnet...Read MORE...


  • Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA
    Mount Saint Charles College
    Postcard
  • Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA
    St. Charles Church
    Postcard
  • Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA
    Globe Bridge and Blackstone River, Woonsocket, R. I.
    Postcard
  • Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA
    Dedication of State Armory, Woonsocket, R. I.
    Postcard
  • News 1955 - RHODE ISLAND DAM BURSTS.
    Woonsocket, R. I., (AP) - This industrial city of 50,000, third largest in Rhode Island, was under a state of emergency today with some 500 families...Read MORE...




Old Photos, Pictures, Advertisements and Postcards from Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA


Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA

Postcard
Pinterest

Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA

Postcard
Pinterest
View of Blackstone River near Pumping station

Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA

Postcard
Pinterest
Depot

Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA

Postcard
Pinterest
Court St., Bridge, looking north

Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA

Postcard
Pinterest
View Looking North from Bernon Heights, Woonsocket, R.I.

Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA

Postcard
Pinterest
Cold Spring Park, 1907

Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA

Postcard
Pinterest
High School

Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA

Postcard
Pinterest
City Hall

Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA

Postcard
Pinterest
Woonsocket Hospital

Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA

Postcard
Pinterest
Soldiers Monument, Main Street, Woonsocket, R. I.

Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA

Postcard
Pinterest
North Main St. and St. James Hotel, Woonsocket, R.I.

Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA

Postcard
Pinterest
Alice Mill (Woonsocket Rubber Co.)

Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA

Postcard
Pinterest
Bernon Falls

Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA

Postcard
Pinterest
Blackstone Street and Churches

Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA

Postcard
Pinterest
The Center of Woonsocket from the Bridge

Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA

Postcard
Pinterest
Depot

Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA

Postcard
Pinterest
Globe Congregational Church

Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA

Postcard
Pinterest
Lawton Spinning Company

Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA

Postcard
Pinterest
Woonsocket Machine and Press Co.

Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA

Postcard
Pinterest
Social Mill

Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA

Postcard
Pinterest
Congregational Church, 1912

Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA

Postcard
Pinterest
Globe Bridge and Blackstone River, Woonsocket, R. I.

Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA

Postcard
Pinterest
Mount Saint Charles College

Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA

Postcard
Pinterest
St. Charles Church

Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA

Postcard
Pinterest
Dedication of State Armory, Woonsocket, R. I.

History, News and Stories of Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA

Add informationAdd History/News/Story
  • 1840s - French Canadians Recruited from Quebec to Work in Mills
    French Huguenots, Dexter and George Ballou, were pioneers in Woonsocket's textile industry. As the textile industry in Woonsocket grew, so did the... Read MORE...

  • 1854 - Woonsocket / Beron / Hamlet / Jencksville / Globe / Union
    Woonsocket, a flourishing post-village of Smithfield and Cumberland townships. Providence co., Rhode Island, on both sides of the Blackstone river,... Read MORE...

  • News  1868 - Fire at Woonsocket.
    A fire was discovered in the large brick storage and dry-house owned by Messrs. WARD and HARRIS, in Woonsocket, about noon to-day. The fire... Read MORE...

  • News  1869 - A Woonsocket (R.I.) man offers $100 reward for the detection of the poisoner of his three pet kittens.
    St Joseph Herald
    Saint Joseph, Michigan
    January 23, 1869
  • News  1869 - Extensive Fire in Woonsocket, R. I., - Estimated Loss $100,000.
    WOONSOCKET, Wednesday, June 2. The most extensive fire that ever occurred in this village took place last evening at Elliott's Mills, breaking out in ... Read MORE...

  • 1872 - The first French-Canadian parish in Woonsocket was "Precieux Sang" - Precious Blood Church - established 1872.

    www.woonsocket.org/ french.html
  • News  1874 - LOSSES BY FIRE. DESTRUCTION OF THE SOCIAL MILLS IN RHODE ISLAND - LOSS $700,00 TO $800,000.
    The Social Mills, in Woonsocket, R. I., running 50,000 spindles and 1,000 looms on cotton goods, was entirely destroyed by fire yesterday afternoon.... Read MORE...

  • News  1875 - FIRE IN WOONSOCKET, R. I.
    About 1 o'clock yesterday morning an attempt was made to burn the mansion of George C. Bolton, in Woonsocket, R. I. A wood-box saturated with... Read MORE...

  • News  1882 - LARGE FIRE IN WOONSOCKET. A DEPOT AND SEVERAL STORES DESTROYED - LOSS ABOUT $100,000.
    BOSTON, Mass., Jan. 25. - A special from Woonsocket, R. I., says: "A fire broke out at 2:30 A. M. in the basement of the Providence and Worcester... Read MORE...

  • News  1883 - LOSSES BY FIRE. The Woonsocket Hotel Partly Burned, The Escape of the Guests.
    WOONSOCKET, R. I., Sept. 29. - The Woonsocket hotel, owned by Cook, Mason & Co., was damaged to the amount of $10,000 by fire from a defective flue... Read MORE...

  • News  1886 - Killed After A Dance - WOONSOCKET, R.I., HAS A SUNDAY MORNING MURDER.
    Mitchell Deluge Shot Down by a Man with Whom He Had Been Intimate since Boyhood - The Victim's Ante-Mortem Statement.

    WOONSOCKET, Jan. 18. - The... Read MORE...

  • 1892 - Woonsocket
    WOONSOCKET
    Although extending back nearly two and a-half centuries, there is little interest connected with the history of Woonsocket up to within a ... Read MORE...

  • News  1894 - Mill Fire
    Woonsocket, R. I., Sept. 18. - There was what threatened to be a serious fire this afternoon in the carbonizing department of the River Spinning... Read MORE...

  • 1895 - Woonsocket
    Woon'sock'et, a city of Rhode Island, and one of the capitals of Providence co., is situated at the northern boundary of the state, on both sides of... Read MORE...

  • News  1898 - A French-Canadian Exodus. Mill Operative Scared Away from New England Villages by War Talk.
    There has been a large exodus of French-Canadian families from the mill villages of New England from the mill villages of New England since the war... Read MORE...

  • News  1899 - Explosion
    WOONSOCKET, R. I., May 7. - Not only were all the buildings connected with the Woonsocket Driving Park burned this afternoon, but fifty pounds of... Read MORE...

  • 1900 - By 1900, sixty percent of Woonsocket's population was French-Canadian and Woonsocket was the most French city in the United States.

    www.woonsocket.org/ french.html
  • 1906
    Woon'sock'et, a city of Providence co., R.I., is situated at the northern boundary of the state, on both sided of the Blackstone River, 16 miles N.... Read MORE...

  • News  1913 - POLICE ARREST MAN FOR ATTEMPT TO MURDER WIFE
    Lukasz Luczkewiz Captured in Worcester Last Night for Woonsocket Office

    Also Being Held on Bigamy Charge, the Police Declare Today

    The dragnet... Read MORE...

  • News  1955 - RHODE ISLAND DAM BURSTS.
    Woonsocket, R. I., (AP) - This industrial city of 50,000, third largest in Rhode Island, was under a state of emergency today with some 500 families... Read MORE...

Woonsocket, Rhode Island, USA Genealogy

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Updated: 3/17/2022 5:55:48 PM

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