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South Main Street Historic District

Stone House Located on the outskirts of the city, South Main Street was home to many of Woonsocket's wealthy merchants and manufacturers from 1830 to 1930 .

South Main Street was constructed in 1731 when the Town of Smithfield built a road to connect Union Village in Smithfield to the Woonsocket Falls Village in Cumberland. The road began as an Indian path, and later became part of an old highway system that connected the Boston to the colonies in Connecticut. The old highway originally crossed the Blackstone River in the shallow water below the Woonsocket Falls. In 1736, a bridge was built at the end of South Main Street to connect Smithfield with Cumberland. Now known as the Globe Bridge, it was the first of ten bridges to be built at this location.

From 1830 to 1930, the area along South Main Street developed into an upper class neighborhood for Woonsocket's wealthy merchants, manufacturers, bankers , lawyers and doctors. Large, elegant homes were built on spacious lots along tree lined streets. The earliest of these homes were built in the Greek Revival Style. Later homes were built in the Queen Ann style.

South Main Street and Providence Street retain many of the most interesting residential structures in the city. At the intersection of these two streets is the only concentration of pre-Greek Revival houses in the city. Here also stands half a dozen colonial or Early Republican dwellings. George C. Ballou, owner of the Globe Mill, lived at the Stone House on South Main Street until his death in 1876.

This page utilizes information from:

  • Statewide Historic Preservation Report for Woonsocket, Rhode Island published by the Rhode Island Historic Preservation Commission in September, 1976.
  • Woonsocket, Rhode Island - A Centennial History 1888 - 1988 published by the Woonsocket Centennial Committee in 1988.
For Woonsocket residents, these books are available at the Woonsocket Harris Public Library.

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