Lime Rock

A Wonderful Historical Website on Louisquisset Brothers & Much More

Where the Conklin Limestone Company operates today is one of America's first quarries started in the 1660s when Thomas Harris and Gregory Dexter began mining limestone along Rte 146 in Lincoln. Right nearby are several abandoned quarries now filled with water.

Limestone was an integral part of the building in early Rhode Island. It made strong plasters and mortars during the 1600s-1700s for the wooden clapboard houses with the stone-enders, an entire wall made of field stone and held together by the limestone mortar. Several of these stone-enders are still visible in Rhode Island today, including the Valentine Whitman House, Corner of Great Rd & Whalen Rd in Lincoln and the 1687 Eleazer Arnold House on Great Road in Lincoln.

Over a hundred years ago, cement replaced limestone mortar in construction, but lime is still heavily utilized today to neutralize New England's acidic soils. Three hundred years of lime excavation has been ongoing at this site, yet the lime is nearly gone. A large lake, over twenty acres, will be created at this site.

The Great Road is still one of America's earliest and most significant examples of extraordinary architecture and valuable history. During the 1800s, this former Indian path was a main route to Providence. There is a blend of several architectural styles including colonial and Federal and Greek revival shown in: the  Mowry Tavern, a former stopover lodge for travelers which is now a private residence which however, still bears the Tavern sign, the Masonic Mount Moriah Lodge, the 1704 Friends Meeting House, the Nation's oldest Quaker meetinghouse still in continuous operation, Chase Farm, Moffitt Mill, one of the earliest machine shops.

One of Rhode Island finest Federal style homes, the Hearthside and its nearby early textile mill, the Butterfly mill, weaves a sad tale of early history in the life and misfortunes of Stephen Smith.  Circa 1810, Stephen Smith fell in love with an affluent Quaker lady from Providence who made known that she would only marry a man who could provide her with the handsomest of houses.  Though not a poor man, Mr. Smith could not offer her this, but he instead, bought lottery tickets from the Louisiana State Lottery (which was a fund raising effort for building Louisiana's infrastructure). Incredibly, Stephen Smith won the lottery and spent most of the large bounty on construction of the "North Woods" later known as Hearthside.


Mr. Smith excitedly fetched his lady love by carriage to proudly show her the finest home built in the region. However, she still complained that the house was way too far out in the woods, so he drove her back to Providence only to remain a bachelor for the rest of his life. Instead, he built a three-story stone textile mill with a large chimney  nearby. It became known as the Butterfly Mill when the stone placement resembled a butterfly. These stones have since been removed when the mill was lowered by a level to become a residence. This mill never became very successful and Stephen Smith used it as his residence when he transferred the Hearthside to his brother's family.

Bikeway at the Blackstone River State Park - Lower River Road, Lincoln, RI 02865 401-333-0295
Contact: Al Klyberg Email address:

Experience the site where all of the transportation stories of the Blackstone River Valley come together. It is one of the few remaining canal buildings in the Valley. Discover exhibits on the construction and operation of the canal. Operated by RI DEM.

669 Great Road, Lincoln, RI 02865 401-726-0597
Contact: John Scanlon Email address:

When open, experience the ring of the anvil and the odor of coal and hot steel as blacksmiths forge pieces of the metal into hinges, nails, and other household items. 

1149 Great Road, Lincoln, RI, 02865  401-334-2182
Contact: Pat Choiniere Email address:

This 17th Century Stone Ender, is the second oldest house in Lincoln and the site of the first Town Meeting in Smithfield. Life on and around the Line Quarry. Development of Limerock Lincoln in 1690ís. 

677 Great Road, Lincoln, RI 02865 401-726-0597
Contact: Kathy Hartley Email address:

A 19th century mansion with stories about the turn-of-the century weaving business from costumed guides, when available.

374 Great Road, Lincoln, RI 02865 401-724-7249
Contact: Bruce Downing / Rosanne Cedroni Email address:

Built in 1704, this is the oldest meetinghouse in New England in continuous use.

487 Great Road, Lincoln, RI 02865  401-728-9696
Contact: George Christie Email address:

A historic New England study property rarely opened to the public. Built by Eleazor Arnold in 1693, the Arnold House is a rare surviving example of a "stone-ender," a once common building type first developed in the western part of England.

Nearby is the Rhode Island State Park, Lincoln Woods and the historic Kelly House and its central location for all types of transportation modalities that have been used during the last three hundred years.