6711RE: [RI_Ancestors] Smithfield vs Central Falls
- Apr 2, 2013Thanks for posting this email Linda...very helpful indeed.
From: RI_Ancestors@yahoogroups.com [mailto:RI_Ancestors@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Linda Peloquin
Sent: Monday, March 25, 2013 1:11 PM
Subject: Re: [RI_Ancestors] Smithfield vs Central Falls
Mary & All,
The reason for the Smithfield records in Central Falls is that prior to Mar 1871 a portion of Woonsocket, all of North Smithfield, all of Lincoln and Central Falls were all one own - Smithfield.
On 8 Mar 1871 an act of the RI Legislature passed creating 3 towns out of the original town of Smithfield: A much smaller Smithfield, North Smithfield & Lincoln with a small piece of the original Smithfield also going to Woonsocket.
In 1895, Central Falls was incorporated as a separate entity from Lincoln.
Lincoln was unique among the towns of RI in that it not only was governed by a town council but in that it contained an incorporated district, the Central Falls Fire District.
This district was granted, by special legislation, some of the powers of town government in that they could elect a moderator, clerk, treasurer, 3 assessors, a tax collector & presidents of fire wards. Central Falls could also assess & collect taxes on persons & property within the fire wards for the purposes of buying, maintaining and using fire fighting equipment as well as have a police force to maintain order in the event of a fire.
This special status was legislated at the time because it was felt that the sparkly settled portions of the town should not be taxed for the benefits that would only be enjoyed in the fire-wards which were, apparently much more densely populated & where containment of a fire would be a necessity.
All this comes Central Falls Fire District info comes from the Lincoln section in the 1878 book I have, "History of Rhode Island, 1636 - 1878". There's no author listed but it was published by Hoag, Wade & Co, Philadelphia & printed by Albert J. Wright, 79 Milk St. (corner of Federal) Boston.
I'm just speculating here but maybe the explanation for pre 1871 Smithfield records being in housed in Central Falls is because Central Falls had the equipment to fight fires & therefore the records would be safer from destruction in a fire by being there.
--- On Mon, 3/25/13, mjbarnett23@... <mjbarnett23@...> wrote:
From: mjbarnett23@... <mjbarnett23@...>
Subject: [RI_Ancestors] Smithfield vs Central Falls
Date: Monday, March 25, 2013, 12:57 PM
Thanks for the hint.
Town of Smithfield records began in 1871 I was told when I called.
Town Clerk stated records before that date are located in Central Falls.
Hoping to head there Wednesday.
--- In RI_Ancestors@yahoogroups.com,finnjordan4@... wrote:
> Hi Mary,
> If I could suggest you call Smithfield with the dates of what you are
> searching for and they will tell you if it is in their building or at
> Central Falls. I believe most records (and I can't say all) that are in Smithfield are only from 1867 forward.
> They are a good crew in Smithfield. 233-1000.
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