The Glenlyon Dye Works began as a minor department relegated to operating wherever space could be found or made within the confines of Sayles Bleacheries Plant A at Saylesville. This department began as early as 1876, for the purposes of bleaching and dyeing wool yarn and piece goods. It was not formalized until 1882 when it turned entirely to processing goods for the new Lorraine Manufacturing Company, and the volume of work increased considerably. Later, as Glenlyon Print Works, the plant specialized in printing and finishing fine cotton and silk blend fabrics.
This collection consists of the papers of three generations of the Blaine and MacLellan families, who resided in Newport from 1882 to 1986. Alexander MacLellan (1856-1939) emigrated from Scotland in 1882, and served as a head gardener at several large estates. His daughter Rowena (1886-1965) married jeweler Joseph W. Blaine (1875-1953). Their son Joseph W. Blaine Jr. (1920-1986) was an electrical engineer who retired young to devote himself to the study of history.
Richard Brown Baker was born in Providence, R.I. on November 5, 1912 to Harvey Almy Baker and Marion North Brown. His grandfather was Henry Martin Brown, President of the Industrial Trust Co. of Rhode Island (later Fleet National Bank). He became a prodigious collector owning over 1,600 works of art before he died. He focused on the artists that were new and on the edge deciding in the 1950s to focus on young and unestablished artists. Richard Baker was one of the first to buy works by artists such as Jackson Pollock and Roy Lichtenstein.
John Brown (1736-1803) was born in Providence, R.I., the fourth son of merchant James Brown II (1698-1739) and Hope (Power) Brown (1702-1792). He began his working life in partnership with his three brothers (Nicholas, Joseph and Moses) and his uncle as Obadiah Brown & Co., a mercantile firm that traded in rum, slaves, molasses and other goods. The firm was renamed Nicholas Brown & Co. after the death of Obadiah in 1762.
James Brown II (1698-1739) was born in Providence. His father was Elder James Brown (1666-1716), a pastor on the First Baptist Church; his mother was Mary (Harris) Brown. James II established himself early in the mercantile business, trading in rum, molasses, slaves and less controversial wares.
The Lonsdale Water Power Company, an unchartered corporation founded by the firm of Brown & Ives with Edward Carrington and others, was organized in 1825. The company proceeded to buy up estates and water rights along the Blackstone River in the towns of Smithfield and Cumberland, Rhode Island. In 1831, the company began construction of a mill - later called Lonsdale Mill No. 1- and organized around that mill the village they named Lonsdale in Smithfield. Included in this collection are: administrative records, 1834-1924; general accounts, 1831-1944; production records, 1836-1916; correspondence, 1832-1921; miscellany, 1910-45. Especially important are the minute of company meetings, 1834-1906.
Correspondence, financial records and diaries, mostly of merchant John Francis, his wife Abigail (Brown) Francis, their son Gov. John Brown Francis, and his wife Ann B. (Carter) Francis. Among the most important items are John Francis's two 18th century mercantile diaries; Abigail (Brown) Francis's diary/memorandum book from 1792-1815; and eight of John Brown Francis's political letters from his tenure as Governor of Rhode Island.
The French River Textile Company was incorporated first in Rhode Island in 1897 by Frank A. Sayles, Alfred M. Coats, John Simson, and James B. Kirkaldy. Although the mill itself was located in Mechanicville, the business seat was in the Slater Trust Company in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. The records reflect manufacturing costs, sales, and finances of a Rhode Island and Connecticut firm manufacturing worsted cloth, silk cloth, cotton cloth, remnants and waste. The mill also sold water-generated electric power to the Putnam Light & Power Company, serving communities in northeast Connecticut.