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George Olney-Arnold Moffitt Mill

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c. 1812. 595 Great Rd.

Squeezed between the road and the Mohassuck River, the Moffitt Mill is among the early machine shops in a state which eventually became as famous for machine tools as for textiles—although the subsequent history of the mill's varied production also included shoelaces, wagons, wagon wheels and, finally, blacksmithing. Built by George Olney, it is especially associated with Arnold Moffitt, who purchased it in 1850. Dilapidated though it is, it characterizes the mix in early mills of barn characteristics (on the front) and house characteristics (on the rear). Its sagging clapboards nailed to vertical undersiding are sustained by a heavy pegged frame, the second floor being additionally supported by metal tie rods attached (probably later) to the roof beams. The adjacent mill pond and its dam complete this old-time vignette. Moffitt replaced the original log dam with masonry and the original waterwheel with a turbine. He lived in the mildly Italianate house (1862; visible only in winter), with handsome barn, on the hill behind his factory.

Writing Credits

Author: 
William H. Jordy et al.
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Citation

William H. Jordy et al., "George Olney-Arnold Moffitt Mill", [Lincoln, Rhode Island], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/RI-01-LI16.

Print Source

Buildings of Rhode Island, William H. Jordy, with Ronald J. Onorato and William McKenzie Woodward. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004, 196-196.

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