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Lawton Mill

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Between 1819 and 1832. c. 1980, restoration, William Warner. 595 Ten Rod Rd. (Victory Hwy.)
  • Lawton Mill

This wooden mill on Fisherville Creek typifies early-nineteenth-century factories: masonry basement, clapboard siding above, and monitor-lit attic story, with loading doors and hoist at one end. An appended tower combines loading doors with stairs and toilet stacks, as at Lippitt Mills, in West Warwick. From 1825 until around 1870, various sawmills, gristmills, and snuff mills operated on the site. Probably this building, begun as a somewhat smaller establishment sometime after 1819, was added to, then partially destroyed by fire around 1830, before Thomas Lawton rebuilt it to what it is. Lawton leased the plant to a succession of marginal one-process cotton manufacturers, at a time when the big operators were consolidating all processes into giant mills on larger rivers. By 1870 it had become a woodworking and shingle mill. Finally, dereliction, until its architect-restorer converted it to his office. A decrepit wooden flume to an empty wheelpit exists along one side of the mill, with shingled adjuncts behind. Adjacent are a modified eighteenth-century house, one and one-half stories with central chimney, and a nineteenth-century barn against the road.

Writing Credits

Author: 
William H. Jordy et al.
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Citation

William H. Jordy et al., "Lawton Mill", [Exeter, Rhode Island], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/RI-01-EX7.

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