Location: Peace Dale Library, Route 108, Peace Dale, RI
America’s first woolen manufactury, the Peace Dale Mfg. Co. on the Saugatucket River, was opened for business in 1804 by Rowland and Joseph Peace Hazard.
Caroline Hazard (1856-1945), Rowland Hazard’s granddaughter, was Wellesley College’s fifth president, from1899 to1910. In ten years, she cancelled the college’s debt, established its endowment and opened nine buildings.
Georgia’s Albany State University opened in 1903 as the Albany Bible and Manual Training Institute, thanks to a personal check for $2,500 from her brother. He had met Joseph Winthrop Holley, a young seminarian working at a summer hotel in Narragansett. Eight of his school’s first nine buildings were Hazard gifts, each dedicated by his sister, “Miss Caroline”. The school became a state college in the 1950’s. Martin Luther King’s “Albany Movement” drew from its students. Selma and Montgomery followed their protests and punishments. Dr. King was jailed in “the filthiest jail I had ever seen”.
Harvard Business School holds sixty-one linear feet of Peace Dale Mfg. Co. records. Helen Farrell Allen, continuing work on a 2008 NEH grant, is surveying them. Northern archives have been joined with Albany, bringing honor to Caroline Hazard on their recent Founder’s Day celebration. Albany boasts a museum devoted to the civil rights story.
Murray Gates, entrepreneur and Wakefielder has a purchase and sales agreement on the Hazard mill. He’ll be with us, to hail the mill’s future, as well as praise its past.
Program sponsored by NewportFed.