Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Cumberland Lincoln 11-14-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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CUMBERLAND LINCOLN EDITION | VALLEY BREEZE | NOVEMBER 14-20, 2019 CUMBERLAND 11 of Cumberland. The first town meet- ing was held in February 1747 in a private home on Cumberland Hill in the northwest part of town. Initially, officials did not designate a specific location where town affairs would be conducted. The town clerk stored municipal records in his own house, and Town Council meetings rotated among members' homes. Town meet- ings were held in a private home. While Cumberland Hill remained the seat of town government for over a century, the village of Valley Falls emerged as an important economic and social hub, states the release. The location of some of Cumberland's first textile mills, Valley Falls was connected to Pawtucket and Mendon Road by a turnpike (now Broad Street) in 1812. The village began to take shape in the 1830s, as additional streets were laid out, and houses, businesses, and factories sprang up on both sides of the river. In 1839, much of the existing property was purchased by the Chace family, whose Valley Falls Company would become the village's biggest manufacturer and employer. In 1868, local leaders agreed to relo- cate town offices to Valley Falls. The clerk was situated in a rented office, and meetings were held in nearby buildings. Another quarter-century went by before the town purchased a lot at Broad and Mill and hired William R. Walker & Son to design a "Town House." Cumberland Town Hall featured offices for town departments on the first floor and a large assembly room above. "The Colonial Revival style of the building evoked tradition, stability, and conservatism in a tumultuous time," states the release. "Its solemn symbol- ism influenced the decision to dedicate two war memorials on the grounds." The former Valley Falls Company store at 16 Mill St. was occupied by the Valley Falls Free Library and post office from the 1890s until about 1920. Portuguese immigrants Seraphim C. Cardanha and Ezequiel A. Pires pur- chased the property and installed a grocery store on the first floor and liv- ing quarters above. Joaquim and Maria Amaral owned and operated the store from the early 1940s until 1988. The town acquired the property in 2007. Cumberland embarked on several campaigns of exterior and interior repairs and alterations to Town Hall in the 1940s, 1960s, and 1990s. RIHPHC Executive Director J. Paul Loether commented, "Cumberland Town Hall remains a symbol of civic pride in Cumberland. The grand Town Hall and the unassuming company store have been part of the political and social fabric of the village and the town for over 125 years. We applaud the town for recognizing their signifi- cance and look forward to its contin- ued stewardship of these important historic resources." Mayor Jeff Mutter added, "I am proud that Cumberland Town Hall and the old post office are now listed on the National Register. The story of Valley Falls and of Cumberland is that of hard work, dedication, and a vibrant community. This vibrancy is embodied in these two elegant period buildings." He said the town appreciates that the buildings have finally achieved historic status. HISTORIC From Page 4

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