Stop 7: John Slater House

John Slater house, white house with Congregational Church in the background
John Slater's House with Congregational Church in background

John Slater built this home in 1810. It originally stood on the corner of North Main and Green Streets, where the North Smithfield Town Hall now stands. This home was much like his employee housing. The major difference was that he shared his home with one other family, not two or three. Though he lived at a higher standard, John still lived and worked alongside his workers. While he oversaw a system which ensured his workers could be managed and controlled, he too was held accountable to his employees. There was a certain degree of respect between both employer and employee which came from the proximity in which they all lived. As future generations of Slaters moved further and further away from the community, they became increasingly disinterested in their employees. This would lead to even more labor unrest.

John would remain personally and financially invested in the community until his death in 1843. After his death, the family moved the house to its current location and converted it into worker housing. The family moved to a large mansion home which once stood on the outskirts of the village.

Map of Slatersville
Birdseye view of Slatersville, circa 1895

Slatersville served as the model for other mill villages throughout the Blackstone Valley, and eventually in other parts of the Northeast. This type of industrially planned community was also replicated again and again in factory towns, mine towns, and mill villages across the country. In each of these communities, workers faced tradeoffs. Living and working together, laborers of all ages usually endured the tight supervision of a family or corporation. Yet some also experienced new freedoms and a chance to begin again in a new place or new country.

Perhaps the most enduring legacy of Slatersville is the fact that it is still here – a testament to the resiliency of a community and of the people who call it home.


Last updated: September 8, 2022

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

67 Roosevelt Ave
Pawtucket, RI 02860



Contact Us