Stop 5: Slatersville Church and Common

White church on town green
Slatersville Congregational Church

The Slatersville church common has long served as an important social center for the village. The common, laid out by the Slaters in 1838, also adds to the traditional New England essence of Slatersville. The Slater family built this Greek Revival church in 1838. The first church, built in 1808, is now a private residence located behind this structure.

The company church became an important part of a mill village. It was constructed to meet both the social and spiritual needs of the company’s employees. Church festivals, organizations, and prayer groups offered church members with a sense of community. This was one of the only places, outside of the mill, where workers could gather. It was also a place management and workers congregated together.

Even though the Slaters were raised in the Church of England, they decided to open a Congregationalist Church because most of their workers were Congregationalists. Their main concern was that workers were attending services. Preachers, selected and paid by mill owners, were sure to focus on the less radical teachings of Christianity. They preached on ideas of obedience to authority, timeliness, and thrift. The very ideals mill owners wanted to reinforce in their workers. Often the pulpit became a mouthpiece for the mill’s ownership – another example of how owners sought to manipulate and control their workers.


Last updated: September 8, 2022

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67 Roosevelt Ave
Pawtucket, RI 02860



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