As a manufacturing village, Glendale began, like most others, with a cluster of sawmills and gristmills in the 1790s. They were converted to cotton mills in 1841, when the place was known as Newells Mills. After a fire in 1850, a new mill was built in 1853, this time for woolens, following a pattern of conversion typical for Burrillville. In 1889, William Orrell bought the mills and made a number of town and mill improvements. He sold out in 1934 to Austin Levy's Stillwater Company, which was headquartered in nearby Harrisville. Weaving continued at Glendale until the 1970s. Today plastics, manufactured in twentieth-century buildings of little architectural interest, are the principal industry. The more important nineteenth-century mills are gone.
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