A trusted Central Falls RI motorcycle accident attorney learns about the forgotten history of chocolate in town.
I love chocolate.
Maybe I don’t love it as much as my wife and my kids, but nothing beats a really good bar of chocolate.
In fact, a Hershey’s Bar or a Snickers is never too far from me in one of my desk drawers while I’m working at one of my Rhode Island personal injury law offices.
And as a Central Falls motorcycle accident attorney who has an office right here in town, I had no ideas that in the early days of the settlement of Central Falls, Rhode Island, this city was at the center for worldwide chocolate manufacturing.
And as a motorcycle accident attorney with an obvious weakness for chocolate, nothing could be sweeter to be associated with a Rhode Island town that has such a sweet history…
Central Falls RI Motorcycle Accident Attorney | The Beginning of The Chocolate Empire
In the 18th and 19th centuries, chocolate was a fundamental contributor to the early Industrial Revolution and played a large role in Central Falls prosperity in the late 1700s and early 1800s.
The Wheat Chocolate Mill – that is what William Wheat, a known trader, local innkeeper and chocolate maker called his relocated factory, having moved from Providence to Central Falls around 1782 played a large role in this prosperity.
In these times, chocolate was commonly issued to soldiers and sailors. But a great deal of the chocolate in Central Falls was consumed locally but much was sold to retailers in other seaports and made its way onto whaling ships, fishing vessels and warships.
Historical records from the 1854 Providence Journal say that the two-story chocolate mill was completely destroyed in a flood during the year of 1807.
Sadly, all traces of the mill were gone by 1834.
As a Central Falls RI motorcycle accident attorney who loves a good bar of chocolate, I had no idea about the history of chocolate in this town. But this long forgotten historical gem in Central Falls was reconsidered by the Confectioners Mill Preservation Society as a significant site for reconstruction of an 18th century chocolate manufacturing mill.
The Chocolate Mill Overlook
The Blackstone Valley Tourism Council and Mill Preservation Society lead the project hoping to build a museum on the site of the old factory that would replicate it’s history. The estimated cost of the project was $12 million – which was deemed too costly for the town.
With the downturn of the economy, plans changed to the creation of the Chocolate Mill Overlook, a landscaped recreational site to be built near the bridge at the corner of Charles Street and Roosevelt Avenue.
This project was made possible by the combination of many parties including the candy company Mars Inc. and American Heritage Chocolate – both which offered grants of $35,000 toward the redevelopment of the historical site that would tell the story of chocolate manufacturing in America.
In addition to these grants from industry, a third grant of $35,000 was given by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.
To complete the fundraising efforts there were donations collected through several other private organizations and charities.
There was even a “Save Chocolateville” bar created to help raise money for a project that would highlight an interesting story about Central Falls. As a Central Falls RI motorcycle accident attorney with strong ties to the community of Central Falls, I was glad to see the community really came together for this project.
Construction of Chocolate Mill Overlook
After Asplundh Tree Expert Co and Largress Forestry cleared and removed trees from the area, construction began on April 16, 2012 and was completed by May of that year.
Contractor David Meloni Landscaping Inc. created a site that featured a set of steps leading down to the Blackstone Rider, a sitting wall, installation of interpretive signs, landscaping the riverbank, and parking.
The dedication of The Central Falls Department of Public Words and independent contractors helped with the building of the Chocolate Mill Overlook. The students at Central Falls High School also gave a helping hand and installed a rain garden.
Lastly, Largess Forestry planted several cherry tries along the side of the park and sixteen cherry saplings that created the Central Falls Japanese Cherry Tree Nursery.
The Overlook is in a picturesque spot across the street from where the factory was originally located and right near the first dam that was built to harness the power of the river for the mills. The informative panels at the park tell the story of chocolate manufacturing in Central Falls.
As a Central Falls RI motorcycle accident attorney I’m glad that the legacy of a town that was once called “Chocolateville” or “Chocolate Town” can now live on.
I love the idea of bringing back a piece of forgotten history.
It’s great to know that the people of Central Falls now have such a beautiful place to visit while they educate themselves on some of the town’s history.
No other Rhode Island town can tell this story. I am proud to have an office in “Chocolateville” and to serve those who need help.
If you find yourself in the unfortunate circumstances of a motorcycle accident, call the motorcycle accident attorney that Central Falls RI trusts.
Call The Offices of Kevin P. Landry at 401-722-3400…and when you come to 595 Dexter Street, Central Falls RI 02863, be sure to ask me to share with you one of my chocolate bars…