Hayward’s United States Gazetteer (1853) page 538

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loom pickers, carriages, jewelry, cotton and wool-
len goods.

The communication between Providence and
adjoining states and towns is varied, commodious,
and rapid, both for passengers and freight. Steam-
boats of superior construction and accommoda-
tion run constantly, and as frequently as the wants
of the public require, to Warren, Bristol, Ports-
mouth, Newport, Fall River, and New York.
There are three railroads running into Providence
— one to Stonington, Ct., which connects there
with a line of steamers for New York; one to
Boston, and the third to Worcester, along the
valley of the Blackstone River. Two other rail-
roads have been chartered by the General Assem-
bly of the state, one leading to Bristol, and the
other to Plainfield, Ct., there connecting with the
lines of railroads extending to the far west. The
last of these will probably be soon commenced
and finished. The passenger and merchandise
stations of these railroads, in Providence, are in the
immediate neighborhood of each other. They
are united, and so arranged that passengers and
freight pass from one to the other without chan-
ging cars. The station buildings are very large
and commodious, and not excelled by any in
the United States. Near the centre of the busi-
ness portion of Providence, they are readily acces-
sible, and yet are approached by the locomotives
without seeming to interfere with any of the great
ordinary avenues to the city. These station
buildings, both for passengers and freight, are
located on the W., S., and E. sides of a beautiful
sheet of water of an elliptic form, and nearly a
mile in circumference, which constitutes the head
waters of Narraganset Bay or Providence River.
This sheet of water is enclosed by a substantial
stone wall, the small rivers, (the Moshassuch and
the Moonasquatuchet,) which enter it at the N. E.
and the N. W., as well as the bay or river above
named, which is its outlet, being crossed by sub-
stantial bridges. Between this basin and the
station houses and railroad tracks, the city has
laid out a beautiful park or promenade, 80
feet in width, and extending around the basin.
This park is planted with shade trees of every
desirable kind, and handsomely laid out with
plots of grass and hard gravel walks, and the
whole water side will soon he enclosed with an iron
fence of a style appropriate to the place. When
sufficient time has elapsed to give a proper growth
to the trees, this will be one of the most delightful
promenades in the country. Telegraphic com-
munication is opened with Boston and New
York, and through them to all other parts of the

Most of the dwelling houses in Providence are
of wood. In the erection of them, taste has been
consulted less than convenience. There are some
exceptions to this remark, and others where the
spirit of Yankeedom has been indulged in, at the
sacrifice of both taste and convenience. Owing
to the material of which the buildings are most-
ly composed, Providence is greatly exposed to
danger from fire, and is put to great expense in
maintaining an efficient fire department. The
number of firemen allowed by law is about 1000.
A less number is generally attached to the engines
and apparatus. These consist of 12 engines, 15
forcing stationary engines, 2 hook and ladder
companies, 22 rotary engines, worked by water
and steam, having about 8000 feet of hose. The
annual expense is about $20,000. It required
many and extensive conflagrations and great loss
of property to induce the formation of the fire
department in its present strength. It is now a
matter of pride with the citizens generally, that
their fire department is as strong and as effective
as that of any other city in the Union.

The churches and public buildings of Provi-
dence are in good taste. The religious commu-
nity is divided into Baptists, Friends, Congrega-
tionalists, both Orthodox and Unitarian. Episcopa-
lians, Methodists, Universalists, Catholics, Chris-
tians, New Jerusalem, and Wesleyan Methodists.
Upwards of 30 congregations engage in public
worship every Sunday. Some of the meeting
houses are beautiful specimens of architecture.
That belonging to the First Baptist Society, the
oldest worshipping assembly there, is a very chaste
and beautiful wooden building. The First Congre-
gational, built of granite in courses, St. John's
Church, a natural face stone building, Grace
Church, a fine Gothic structure, Westminster
Congregational Church, the Beneficent Congre-
tional Church, St. Peter's Church, and St. Pat-
rick's Church, are among the most splendid and*
costly. Others less showy and less expensive
accommodate many persons who are as humble
and zealous Christians, and as true-hearted
hearers, as those who frequent the edifices just
named. The colored people own and occupy five

The Providence Arcade is one of the most
beautiful buildings in the country. It is situate
on the W. side of the river, and extends from
Westminster to Broad Street, fronting on both,
being 122 feet in length and 72 in breadth. Its
fronts are ornamented with massive granite col-
umns, 25 feet high, the shafts of which are single
blocks, 22 feet long. The lower floor is occupied
by dry goods stores, and the upper stories by
milliners, dress makers, offices, school rooms,
&c. It was completed in 1828, and cost about

On the range of high land, on the E. side of
the river, stands the Dexter Asylum, erected for
the accommodation of the poor, on land given to
the city for that purpose, by the late Ebenezer K.
Dexter. The lands about the asylum, and be-
longing to it, comprise about 40 acres, surrounded
by a wall 10 feet high, and 3 feet thick at the
base, which cost about $22,000. The asylum is
of brick, 170 feet long, in three sections, a centre
and two wings. The centre is 3 stories high,
with a pediment; the wings are only 2 stories,
with an attic. It is a plain, substantial building.

A little N. of the asylum, on the same range,
is the New England Yearly Meeting Boarding
School. It occupies a lot of 43 acres, given for
that purpose by the late venerable Moses Brown.
The buildings consist of a centre building, 54 feet
square, 3 stories high, 2 wings, each 84 feet by
42, and another, more recently erected, 50 by 40
feet, 2 stories. The accommodations are ample
for 75 scholars of each sex. The board and tu-
ition is $60 per year. This institution received
a legacy of $100,000 from the late Obadiah Brown,
Esq. The object is to give to the children of
Friends a “ guarded '' education.

A short distance N. E. from this, on the banks
of the Seekonk River, is the Butler Hospital for
the Insane. This institution originated with the
late Nicholas Brown, of Providence. In a codi-
cil to his will, bearing date the 3d of March,
1841, he gave the sum of $30,000 towards the

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