History of Industry
The Village of Ashton was created by the Lonsdale Company in the mid-1800s. One of Rhode Island’s largest textile companies, Lonsdale owned and opereated three distinct villages along the Blackstone River: Lonsdale, Ashton, and Berkley. Every aspect of these self-contained villages - the mill, the workers dwellings, houses, and public buildings was created by the Lonsdale Company.
When you cross over the bridge from Blackstone River State Park to visit Ashton, discover the mill built by the Lonsdale Company in 1867. In 1941, Owens Corning Fiberglas took over the mill, making many products including cloth for the Apollo missions’ space suits. Today, the Mill has been converted into residential apartments.