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Shannock Mills and Village

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Shannock Village Rd.

Potentially this is a particularly picturesque village in which a winding road passes ruined mills and a cluster which includes eighteenth-century remnants and Greek Revival and mid-nineteenth-century examples. The town village has weathered some false starts in its postindustrial history but currently enjoys a fair state of health. From the east end of the town, the road winds past a boardinghouse, over the bridge across the Pawtuxet, with the extensive Greek Revival and twentieth-century brick ruins of various Clark enterprises downstream. Upstream is a horseshoe-arched dam built sometime during the nineteenth century. Beside it, and tight against the bridge, is a tiny wooden building, much altered, which uses a boulder in the stream as support for one end, the bank as support for the other, with a masonry arched bridge between. This is a rare relic of the eighteenth-century Clark's Mill, the concrete arch providing the outflow beneath the mill for the raceway (now redone in concrete) beside it. Adjacent to the raceway is the one-and-one-half-story, central-chimney house, also much altered, which once housed the mill owner. So the remnants of eighteenth-century enterprise by the Clark family exist beside the ruins of their later efforts.

The road winds past a Greek Revival house (220 Shannock Village Road) with frontal pediment and distyle Doric porch. (Greek Revival side ells were apparently moved for a shedroofed insert.) The picket fence on granite base seems to be a restored survival from the nineteenth century. Two restored Greek Revival mill workers' duplexes follow, at numbers 214–216, with clapboarded mid-nineteenth-century duplexes behind. Along Main Street are more medium-sized Greek Revival houses for the town elite, intermixed with workers' housing of various vintages. On the south side of the railroad tracks and at the end of Railroad Street is an almost collapsed, but once handsome, nineteenth-century wooden mill, with an early twentieth-century wooden addition, beside another dam. This is Shannock Mill, operated by a succession of owners outside the Clark family. It gave the village its eventual name around 1870.

Writing Credits

William H. Jordy et al.


What's Nearby


William H. Jordy et al., "Shannock Mills and Village", [Shannock, 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, 425-427.

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