Anthony Mill

“A prettier mill you will not find.”  Built in 1873 the Italianate Anthony Mill has the distinction of being one of the best mills – architecturally speaking – in the entire state.  When it was built, it was the largest building in Rhode Island.  At night, the owners would have a light on in every window and it was a sight to behold.  People would actually come from all around the state just to behold the spectacle.  

As one of the earliest attempts at cotton manufacturing in the United States, Richard and William Anthony built the first cotton mill here, forming the Coventry Company in 1805.  Anthony village is Coventry’s earliest mill village—and one of the earliest in the state, region, and country. 

In 1810, the Coventry Company built its second factory in Anthony.. At the time, it was the tallest building in the state. It was 125 feet long and six stories high. The lower three levels were of brick and the upper of wood.  It was destroyed by fire in 1988.  The Coventry Company’s machine shop was one of the leaders in making machinery for the textile industry and developed the famous Sisson Power Loom.

The current handsome building was built in 1873 to be 316’ X 80’ with 166,000 sq ft in the main building and had a capacity of 33,132 spindles and 736 looms.  For years it produced textiles including narrow fabric, using Italian knitting machines and Italian and American needle looms.  The weave shed, built on the other side of the river was built in 1910.

The Berkshire-Hathaway Company owned the mill for some time but closed its doors in Sept 1962. Within a few weeks, a group of business and professional men purchased the mill and brought in new industry.  By 1996 there were six separate factories in the complex, including Concordia Fibers which remains today in the weave shed which produces custom engineered fiber-based products and services.

In 1999 Anthony Mill was sold to Wayne Mills Company, Inc., of Delaware to produce narrow fabrics, tapes and light webbings. 

In 2012 the main mill was renovated into luxury loft apartments by Brady Sullivan Properties, and was reborn as the Lofts at Anthony Mill apartments.

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Map

Just to the right of the mill you can drive across the river and turn right to find the parking lot for the Washington Secondary Rail Path, and a ramp down to the mill pond.  This is where the railroad station used to be (see the third image).