In the fall of 1976, a small group of Pawtuxet Valley residents gathered to form the Pawtuxet Valley Preservation and Historical Society (PVPHS). Although its first meetings were held in members’ homes, the organization rapidly attracted more interest and grew in membership, forcing it to seek church halls and other larger accommodations for its monthly meetings and programs of historical interest.
Once the PVPHS decided to rent space on Weaver Street in Arctic Village, donations of books, photographs, documents, and artifacts soon crowded the small space. That was only the beginning of the Society’s present collection of thousands of documents and artifacts accessible to the public.
In 1993, PVPHS negotiated a lease with the Town of West Warwick for the use of the historic Crompton Library, which was built in 1876 by the Crompton Company as a library for the “Velvet Village”. In 1945 the library was deeded over to the town. Today, the building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The edifice continues to serve the PVPHS as its headquarters and welcomes the public to visit either for research or to browse its intriguing collection of memorabilia of life in the Pawtuxet Valley.