#AtoZ Stay Home! Wear a Mask! “H” is for HOPE

It seemed appropriate this year to feature a theme that kept me close to home, so I give you my A to Z within the small acreage that is Rhode Island. I tried to be creative (you’ll see!) but I hope you learn something about Little Rhody, too. Whether you’ve lived here all your life, grew up within the boundaries, or have never set foot on one of our many beaches, come along for a virtual tour.

Photo by Martha Reynolds

Welcome to Hope village! The word ‘Hope’ figures prominently in our little state. It’s our state motto!

Image from Wikipedia

There’s a Hope Valley in Rhode Island, too – a village in the town of Hopkinton. And Hope Artiste Village, a mill restoration project in Pawtucket. But today’s feature is the village of Hope, a mill settlement in Scituate. Set along the Pawtuxet River, Hope was alive with industrial activity from the mid-1700s, although these days it’s a quiet little community of residential dwellings.

Photo by Martha Reynolds

The cannon pictured above sits in front of the lovely Hope Library on North Road. If you can’t read the engraving, it says: “This cannon was forged in the Hope Furnace Foundry, not far from this site, during our war for independence. On May 4, 1776, Rhode Island declared her independence from Great Britain, two months before the other twelve colonies. It is therefore appropriate that we here today, May 4, 1974, 198 years later, re-dedicate the cannon to the causes of independence and freedom, for which it was originally forged.”

Photo by Martha Reynolds

The reference to the Hope Furnace Foundry was an iron furnace, constructed in 1766, after iron ore was discovered nearby the previous year. The factory produced household goods and crude iron, and did receive a contract from the Rhode Island General Assembly to manufacture cannons for use in the American Revolutionary War.

Photo by Martha Reynolds

In 1806, the Hope Cotton Factory Company built the textile mill pictured above along the Pawtuxet River. The mill was constructed out of wood, and, in 1844, the buildings burned down and were replaced by a large, four-story stone building. An additional building was added in 1900, and a fifth floor was added to the original stone mill.

The Hope Mill produced textiles until 2007. The last textile manufacturing occupant of the mill was Just-A-Stretch, a weaver of elastic fabrics.

The mill gradually descended into disrepair, and ceilings collapsed after years of vacancy and neglect. In June 2020, a sale of the 38-acre property was finalized. The Hope Mill was sold to Paramount Development, which plans to turn the buildings into a residential compound. The idea was not well received by the residents of Hope, but the Planning Commission approved Paramount’s plan under the low-to-moderate-income housing plan.

The district of Hope was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in August 1995.

10 thoughts on “#AtoZ Stay Home! Wear a Mask! “H” is for HOPE

  1. I had no idea Rhode Island was the first colony to declare independence. My family is from Rhode Island. I wonder if my parents knew that RI was so progressive in 1776. Your posts are so informative!

    Like

  2. Hari OM
    … seems to me, a place called Hope is the ideal place for the development of low to medium-income housing. Then again, my experience of such developments here in the UK is that the units often all end up at the high end of the ‘medium’ bracket, due to the builders underestimating the cost of refurbishing these old buildings – and still needing to make a profit. That said, they are often really lovely and much prettier than building new.

    Thanks for bringing us to another lovely town! YAM xx

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Interesting post and history lesson. My suggestion to residents who opposed new development or redevelopment was that they get together and buy the property themselves. Or, find an old deed restriction which prevents development. We found one restriction in our town and became owners of a large parcel of land that was left in its natural state as a public park.

    Liked by 1 person

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