Belleville

The history of the Belleville area dates back to the very beginning of the 1800's when the two ponds, Belleville and Secret Lake were formed from the Shewatuck River to support a gristmill and a sawmill. By the time 1830 rolled around, the site which had been converted to the textile trade, was purchased by Pawtuxet manufacturers Christopher and William Rhodes, who are credited with giving the hamlet its name, which translates to "beautiful village". These two early wooden mills, both converted to cotton manufacture, burned in 1856. William E. Pierce then purchased the site and constructed the grand four-story brick mill in 1861 for use as a woolen mill. In its day, it rivaled the mill at Lafayette as one the largest manufacturing concerns in North Kingstown. The mill building survived for 100 years into the 20th century when it too, was consumed by fire. The village of Belleville utilized nearby Allenton for much of its services, but did possess its own schoolhouse and numerous mill worker homes and cottages.

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