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Mill Dams

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1849 and later. Railroad St.

The Western Mill site on the west side of Railroad Street provides the best view of a sequence of dams on the Branch River that successively hold back the water for the raceway. Behind a relatively small dam is the principal barrier, Middle Dam (1849), with yet another built behind it late in the nineteenth century. Middle Dam is an especially splendid masonry structure of very large blocks, in all 300 feet long with a rollway 160 feet wide for a twenty-foot fall of water.

Writing Credits

William H. Jordy et al.


What's Nearby


William H. Jordy et al., "Mill Dams", [North Smithfield, Rhode Island], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Rhode Island, William H. Jordy, with Ronald J. Onorato and William McKenzie Woodward. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004, 248-248.

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