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With the political season upon us, and elections at the national, state and local levels up for grabs, I thought it might be interesting to take a look back in time. You know what they say, “All politics are local,” and frankly things that happen at that “local” level generally have the greatest impact upon regular folks like you and me. So what was going on at the local level back at the beginnings of our fair town? Who was in charge and what were the vital issues of the day?

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As irrational as it sounds, it just seemed to me like Irving Sheldon would always be here. He was just about the first local history expert to reach out to me about a quarter of a century ago when I began my personal journey through the history of our fair town. Then, and always, he was kind and generous with his time. He loved Saunderstown as if it were a person, a member of his family, and he enjoyed chatting about it, reminiscing about it, immensely.

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I expect that during the fall and early winter of 1938, Leonard Joslin’s temper would flare each and every time someone mentioned the construction of the new railroad underpass at Wickford Junction. Not that Joslin had anything against the railroad, mind you. He had worked for years as a railroad bridge supervisor and left the employ of the railroad in good graces.

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We have taken a look, piecemeal, in a number of past columns over the years at the events that brought about the construction of the massive fabric mill along the banks of the Shewatuck River in Lafayette. Now that I see that the 92-foot-tall chimney there, is coming dawn after nearly a century and a half of braving the elements, I thought we ought to examine this place more closely.

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Over the years, we have examined a number of old church buildings that have been repurposed, giving them a new life after they no longer can be of service to their congregations. We’ve seen churches that have become homes, senior housing complexes and even a warehouse. But today we will be taking a gander at a building that was a Church, not once, but twice, not to mention a laundry and a popular dentist’s office.

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Every once in a while, a “what’s it” turns out to be the last physical reminder of a page of an episode in the history of our fair town. The ruins on Cornelius Island, the concrete and brick chimney on Old Baptist Road and the mill foundations on Featherbed Lane are artifacts such as this; they are all the last tangible reminders of something that was an important aspect of North Kingstown’s history many years ago.

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Like most people, you probably have many financial goals: a comfortable retirement, long vacations, college for your children or grandchildren, the ability to leave something behind for the next generation, and so on. To achieve these various goals, you may have to follow different investment strategies – and you might have to make some trade-offs along the way.

We're always interested in hearing about news in our community. Let us know what's going on!