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.
The Lippitt mill, home to cotton textile manufacturing, was built in 1809, making it the third oldest mill in Rhode Island after John Slater’s in Slatersville, RI and Samuel Slater’s Slater Mill in Pawtucket.
The original partnership was formed in November 1809 with (Revolutionary War) Colonel Christopher Lippitt, his brother Charles Lippitt, Benjamin Aborn, George Jackson, Amasa Mason, and William Mason. Following the War of 1812, there was an economic depression, and the company survived by supplying yarn to a Vermont prison, for convicts to weave. Throughout the 19th century, the company grew to become a profitable enterprise, and generations of Lippitts were involved in the running of the mill.
In 1889, the Lippitt assets were sold to the firm of B.B. Knight and Robert Knight, founders of Fruit of the Loom. In 1925, B.B. Knight sold the property to the owner of the Riverpoint Lace Works. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.
The manufacturing of lace ended in the early 1970s, and recently, renovation work was begun to convert the mill and adjacent buildings into residences.