Archives and Collections


Holdings (Inclusive dates: 1750-present):

The society’s collections include lime industry relics, artifacts, books and sterioscopics, other industrial artifacts, books and records. Other collections include land deeds, grants, wills, genealogy books, RI and local history books, family bibles, banking records from Cumberland, tax records for North Providence from the Colonial to Federal era, and other items of interest relating to the history of the six communities in the Blackstone Valley in Rhode Island.

archive cabinets


44 thoughts on “Archives and Collections”

    1. Try the archivist at Central Falls City Hall at 580 Broad Street, who can probably help you. It is an interesting-looking house, isn’t it?

    2. When I was much younger, currently 66, it was a rooming house. It may have been built for that purpose.

      1. Robert, I am a researcher who is looking for information concerning the Lafreniere families who lived in Central Falls in the very early 1900s. Are you able to advise/assist me with some questions I have? — Michael Lafreniere ( ) in Tacoma, Washington

  1. Looking for the street/number in Central Falls, I believe, of the old FEI night club. Also, any information on Brailey’s Hill which was located just down the same street from the FEI club

    1. The FEI was NOT in Central Falls! Coming into Town, take a right on Mill Street, and the FEI was at the top of the hill.

      1. I think the owners were Albert and Elaine Fernandes from Portugal. In 1942 they were listed as the cafe owners with an address of 53 Carpenter Street in Valley Falls, RI.
        Note F=Fernandes, E=Elaine…not sure where the I came from.
        Sorry, that’s all I have. Any other suggestions??

    2. That is in Valley Falls, near the S. Attleboro Mass line. Called the Valley View these days.

  2. One of our members said that the FEI Club used to be located on Carpenter Street in Cumberland, more or less at the same location as the present day Mickey’s Pub, which is 46 Carpenter. There is a Brailey Street nearby. We think that is the area you are interested in.

  3. Wanting to find information on the death of my aunt in Central Falls in 1928. She was a small child, approximately six, when she was hit and killed by a car while walking to school. Where do I find newspaper articles for this time period?

  4. I would try either the Providence or Pawtucket Libraries. The Pawtucket Library has the Pawtucket Times back to 1920. The Providence Public Library has the Providence Journal on microfilm well back into the 19th century.

  5. HI,

    Where can I find old pictures of houses/landmarks in Arnold Mills? I’ve tried the Cumberland library, and they had a few, but wanted to check with you as well and what’s in your collection.

    Thank you!

  6. Looking to find an obituary from 1972. The Providence Archives on line only goes to 1981.

    How can I find this death notice?

  7. Hi, I’m looking for any old photos of my house as well as when it was actually built. I have a feeling its much older than they say. its at 40 railroad st manville. any ideas where to go? lincoln town hall wasn’t much help

    1. I think the RIHS definitely has information on Manville, also check the RIHPHC ( I am thinking that you want to contact Betty Mencucci at the Burrillville Historical Society ( She and her husband Carlo Mencucci put together the movie we are showing portions of on January 22, “Senetchonet to Manville: a Journey through Time” a movie about the history of Manville, based on the collections of Roger Gladu. I think they would be able to help you.

    2. I just looked at it on google earth, and if I didn’t look up the wrong house, I can see what you mean. If you were to take off the porches and other additions on the front it might look very different. The oldest records about Lincoln are in the Central Falls City Hall. You may be able to find something out there.

      Also, I found the historical register nomination for part of Manville, and it may be helpful:

  8. Hi there!
    Trying to see if there is any historical information on a house I am in the process of buying. 73 union st, Lincoln RI. It was built in 1890 and it is a fixer upper…Trying to see if there is any old pictures or information about this house I can use. I’d like to keep it as close to the original character as possible.

  9. I am a member of the Stonington Historical Board of Directors, Stonington Conn. Working on a project for Memerial Day 2017 about all the military personal that died in World War 2, Korea and Vietnan. A soldier who at one time lived in Central Falls and then married at Lived in the town of Stonington a Nelson G. Sanschagrin. Looking fora photo. Lived at 882 Dexter St. Central Falls. Anyway of checking even a high school yearbook photo

    1. Please see my email about checking into the yearbook picture. If anyone out there has a photograph of Mr. Sanschagrin, please contact us.

  10. I am looking for a birth record for Gilbert Daniels 1823 Buried in Woonsocket Providence Rhode Island
    I have looked both in Mendon Worcester Co MA & Smithfield Providence Rhode Island…. It shows his parents Smith Daniels & Minerva Streeter marriage and other children born from 1812 – 1818
    The book of Marriages, Births goes from 1690 – 1900’s; both MA & RI
    I have looked in all counties & towns.. are there other records to gleen from ?????? for a birth

    1. I’m not a genealogist, but I looked at find-a-grave really quickly.
      I would contact the American-French Genealogical Society in Woonsocket. They are helpful with questions about genealogical research. I did another quick search and came up with this on, however, there is no Gilbert in the listed children, which is what you found. I wonder if the Gilbert (born 1823) has been matched with the wrong parents.

  11. Looking for information to confirm that the house at 349 Scott Rd. , Cumberland used to be a speakeasy or the Stonehedge Tea Room or any historical information about it. It’s floor plan supports it was some kind of public space at one point in history.

    1. It used to be a summer theater for Lippit Estates summer residents.
      The Morgsm family owned it and the oldest family member is Michelle Morelle. I know she is on the area .

  12. Would anyone have information on a Richard Fairfield ..born 1901 in Ireland..wife was Florence ..children Richard Fairfield 1930 and daughter 1931. Richard worked in Dorchester mill as a machines.. the family lived in Broad street. Thank you

  13. Looking for photos of visit of Ted and Robert Kennedy on rand and dexter st maybe 1968 thank you

  14. Hi, I’m looking to see if you have any documents related to the Buffum family or to their house (383 Great Road in North Smithfield, RI).

  15. Need information on my house 81 washington st,central fall,we did some constrution in the basement and when we moved some stones we found medicine bottles,i believe they are from the18 century.

  16. That is exactly right. I worked at the old FEI Club as a kid. Cleaned the place on Sundays and worked the parking lot on Saturday nights.

  17. I’m looking for information on the Blacksone canal. Common knowledge as it went from Worcester to Providence and was built in 1825 about taking a few years. I am specifically looking for where it ended up in Providence. Was Blackstone Boulevard part of the canal? Are there any remnants of the canal walls and old locks accessible and where? Is there a place this information is listed? There has to be more remnants accessible other than the Millville lock. Which I’ve already been to. The area is rich in history and I feel it’s important for people to be aware of this. Is there an overlay of the current city and of the old canal path to compare.? And locations of where the 48 locks used to be?It would be fun to explore some of these places if there is concise information as to where to find these remnants of history. Thank you

  18. Hello,

    I live in Lincolnville, Maine and am writing a history of Lincolnville’s largest lime quarries. The largest one was operated by the Lincolnville Soapstone, Coal and Marble Company (strange name for a lime operation but the Maine Legislature determined it) which was incorporated in 1836. There are no records of it beyond its incorporation papers and various deeds which I have studied quite thoroughly.

    One of the four incorporators, however, is Daniel Hale from Rhode Island. In my investigations I learned that he was a Director of the Smithfield Lime Rock Bank and I am wondering if you have, or know where to find, records from this Bank starting in 1835 and definitely including the next 5 years and perhaps up to 1872 when the Company ceased operations and sold its assets.

    I am looking for any records that would show if it was a backer or investor of this Company or what financial involvement it might have had.

    Any materials at all that you have regarding this Company would be much appreciated as Lincolnville has nothing–except the old quarries!! I have additional information from my research if you need it.

    Thank you very much,

    Corelyn Senn

  19. Where would I find the names of men who signed an Oath of Allegiance in RI to the patriot cause during the American Revolution? I am specifically looking for Benjamin Ballou (1747 – 1834) son of the Rev. Maturin Ballou.

  20. Hi there,
    I’m trying to find information about the former Bellevue Theatre that was in the building at 534 Dexter Street, Central Falls. the former address was 536 Dexter Street but it’s the building at 534 Dexter Street. This was my grand-uncle, Walter J. Cooper’s movie theatre during the early 1900’s.

    1. Interested in info on 106 Cross St, where I lived on 1st floor as a child. The house is no longer listed anywhere. Also attended Broad St School in the 50’s… walking distance from the house. Lori did recommend the CF archives and I may check that out some time. Just wondered if anyone or there was in the area when I was!

  21. Looking for photos of the John Mann and George Streeter houses, farms, and property prior to their demolition and expansion/building of routes 146 and 295. The older the pictures, the better.

    Thank you,
    Cortney Keegan

  22. Hello, are there any pictures of regular homes in Cumberland from when they were built? I’m thinking in the 50’s. I’d like to see a picture of my home back in the early days when it was first built. Similar to what we have now with the valuations.

    Thank you

  23. I am looking for any Lincoln, Cumberland or Woonsocket connections to World War 2 for a senior research project at Rhode Island college. Anything can help! Thanks

  24. As one of the current tenants of the Manville Community Center we are interested in the preservation of that building at 30 Railroad St.
    Can you suggest public or private sources that might help us further our efforts?

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