1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Woonsocket
WOONSOCKET, a city of Providence county, Rhode Island, U.S.A., on both banks of the Blackstone river, about 16 m. N. by W. of Providence. Pop. (1900) 28,204; (1905, state census) 32,106 (13,734 foreign-born, including 8939 French Canadians and 1369 Irish); (1910) 38,125. Woonsocket is served by the New York, New Haven & Hartford railway and by an interurban electric line. Among its institutions arc the Sacred Heart College and the Harris Institute Public Library, founded (1863) by Edward Harris, a local manufacturer. Woonsocket has ample water power from the Blackstone river and its tributaries, the Mill and the Peters rivers. The value of its factory products in 1905 was $19,260,537. Worsted and woollen yarns are manufactured in Woonsocket by the French and Belgian processes. Other manufactures are cotton goods and yarns, rubber goods, clothes wringers, silks, bobbins and shuttles, and foundry products.
The first settlement in the vicinity was made apparently about 1666 by Richard Arnold, who at about that time built a saw-mill on the bank of the Blackstone river. Woonsocket was set off from Cumberland and was incorporated as a township in 1867; was enlarged by the addition of a part of Smithfield in 1871, and was chartered as a city in 1888.