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These adjacent mill villages began with the manufacture of such edge tools as scythes, axes, and hoes. Leonard Nason's mill, founded in 1821 and in operation until destroyed by fire in 1881, was renowned for the high quality of its products. Textile manufacturing appeared around 1820 in Mohegan and 1838 in Nasonville. In both places, the first product was a coarse cloth known as “Negro cloth” because its principal market was southern plantations, where it was used for slave clothing. Both mills graduated to satinettes, cashmeres, and worsteds, eventually under the control of two of the largest twentieth-century woolen operators in the state: Levy's Harrisville-based Stillwater Company came to Nasonville; the Metcalfs' Providence-based Wanskuck Company to Mohegan. Both operated until around 1960. A series of fires and demolitions have taken all the interesting nineteenth-century mills, leaving twentieth-century replacements of little architectural interest, now predominantly serving plastics manufacturers.

Writing Credits

William H. Jordy et al.

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