Rhodes on the Pawtuxet History
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The Rhodes on the
Pawtuxet Gazebo (c.1880) and the Ballroom (1915) are
the only intact buildings of, what was formerly
a part of an even larger complex of recreational and
social facilities. Rhodes on the Pawtuxet is located
just north of Pawtuxet Village. It is located on the
northern bank of the Pawtuxet River in Cranston.
The development of Rhodes on the Pawtuxet
clearly reflects the evolution of Pawtuxet Village's
hospatality-based industries. From it's the earlier textile and
shipbuilding industries, to what Pawtuxet village is today.
Rhodes on the Pawtuxet’s natural advantages of pleasant
locations and water access to the Pawtuxet River as
well as Pawtuxet Cove soon led to the
development of it's hospatality industry.
Pawtuxet Village has numerous
bars, restaurants, marinas and shops for all to
explore. Pawtuxet Village is one of the oldest villages in
America and steeped in tradition and history.
Even before this, in 1872, Thomas H.
Rhodes had recognized his establishment's hospatilty
appeal. When he opened his modest one-story frame pavilion for
clambakes and flatbottom boat rentals. Rhodes called
it “Rhodes on the Pawtuxet”, it
became quickly became very popular and expanded to include,
facilities for dancing, rowing, and canoeing.
By 1898, the year of Rhodes’ death, various alterations and
expansions had been made to the structure. Finally, during that
year, the newly incorporated Rhodes Brothers enlarged the
grounds and built a new Casino for dancing. Scarcely three
years later, in 1901, a second new and larger Casino was built,
the earlier one having already been outgrown.
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Rhodes on the Pawtuxet
soon became a center for social and recreational
activities. Thomas Rhode's earliest clambakes were
generally held for business or social groups. This
tradition of using Rhodes on the Pawtuxet for
organizational and social functions continues to the present
day. Rhodes on the Pawtuxet Ballroom houses,
Weddings, Balls, Dances, Political functions, Flower
shows, Dog shows, Antique shows and Auctions, amongest
many other events. The new Ballroom opened to the public
in August 1915 with 10, 000 people in attendance. Five months
earlier, fire had engulfed most of the Rhodes complex.
Steeped in tradition and alive with history and charm,
Rhodes on the Pawtuxet and its surrounding
village gives guests with a feeling of days gone by with
many of the original features still prominent and intact. One
of our favorite memories relates to the lightbulb-lit flag that
still hangs in the Ballroom. It is said that during many of the
military balls and social dances that were held here, the women
would stand beneath the flag as a signal to the men that they
were single and available!
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