Sights ~ Coggswell Tower and Jenks Park ~ Central Falls

Jenks Park
Central Falls, Rhode Island

Jenks Park is the only large park in the very small city of Central Falls. The land was a gift from Alvin Jenks, a descendent of the industrialist Cpt. Stephen Jenks.

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It's a nice parcel of green space right next to Central Falls City Hall, and has paths, a small playground and a great big hill with a clock tower.

View of adjacent Central Falls City Hall
That's a view of City Hall, to the left of the tree.

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Though the land and park were donated in 1890, and built by Pawtucket architect Albert Humes, the tower and its supporting barrel vault were built in 1904. The funds were bequeathed by Caroline Cogswell, a former resident who had moved to what's now Silicone Valley with her husband, a dentist.

I wasn't able to learn whether it was her idea or someone else's to build a clock tower, but the fact is, it's an impressive one, standing 70 feet tall. At the elevation where it stands, it's probably visible around most of the city (or was when it was built).

Tower door

The elevation itself played a key role in Colonial Rhode Island history. Now called Dexter's Ledge, in 1676 the height was called Quinsniket, and was used as a lookout spot for the native combatants in King Philip's war. Sachem Nanunteenoo (you may have heard of him as Canonchet), plotted an attack against the English and their native allies, led by Cpt. Michael Pierce. "Pierce's Battle" was a win for Nanunteenoo, and resulted in the death of Pierce himself and all but 10 of his men.

The park is closed from 7pm to 9am, and is a really beautiful spot to visit. However, the neighborhood is not terrific. We were only there about 30 minutes and met a lovely young couple with their 1 year old baby, then witnessed a drug deal right in the playground, and a group of young teens using some really foul and abusive language amongst themselves.

So, I'd go back for more photographs, but I wouldn't bring my grandkids there again.

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