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West Greenville Mill (Pooke and Steere Mill)

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Pooke and Steere Mill
1844 and later. Putnam Pk.

Two cotton factories supplanted earlier, smaller mills in this area: Elisha Steere built this one in 1844; Stephen and Albert Winsor, with William F. Brown, the second around 1845. The latter, the “lower mill,” separated from Steere's operations a little way downstream, was destroyed in the early twentieth century along with a community of mill housing. Steere's mill also went through a series of name changes and shifts from cotton to wool and back to cotton. It takes its most familiar name from William Pooke and Anthony Steere, who controlled it from 1855 to 1873. The mill is visible today behind a hodge-podge of late-nineteenth- and twentieth-century accretions. A three-story mill in random masonry, it was originally sheathed in stucco. The roof is still surmounted by its original trapdoor monitor, now completely encased by artificial siding, but the four-story tower has lost its belfry. A granite dam backs up the Stillwater River into a millpond from which a raceway once powered the mill. After textile operations ceased in the early twentieth century, a variety of commercial and industrial users leased pieces of the complex.

Writing Credits

William H. Jordy et al.


What's Nearby


William H. Jordy et al., "West Greenville Mill (Pooke and Steere Mill)", [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, 255-255.

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