Then... ... and Now
The James Arnold House, photo circa 1980. The house was built in 1840. Arnold was the grandson of John Arnold, the area’s first permanent settler. When James’ father died in 1807, James inherited a large amount of land in the Market Square area and 100 percent of water rights from the falls. By 1814, he had purchased additional land until he owned all the land on both sides of the river from the falls to what is now Social District. By the early 19th Century, he owned much of what is now downtown Woonsocket. As the textile industry in Woonsocket grew, James built mills, shops and storehouses but never became involved in the textile industry himself. The former mansion of James Arnold, located on Arnold Street in the city, is now an apartment building.