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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. 

Rhodes on the Pawtuxet

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.

Rhodes on the Pawtuxet

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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