Documentary History of American Water-works

Introduction Historical Background Chronology Geography Biography Technology Ownership and Financing General Bibliography
New England States Rhode Island Bernon

Bernon, Rhode Island

Bernon was founded in 1827 as Danville in the town of Smithfield.  In 1832, Sullivan Dorr bought the Russell Manufacturing Company, renamed the village as Vernon, and formed the Woonsocket Mill Company.  The following year Dorr and Crawford Allen built the Bernon Worsted Mill. The villages of Bernon, Hamlet, and Globe were annexed to the town of Woonsocket in 1871.

The Bernon Fountain Company was incorporated in 1855 by Samuel Greene, Thomas F. Mason, Sullivan Ballou, Stephen N. Mason, Hardin Knight, Henry G. Ballou, and Darius D. Buffum "for the purpose of constructing, in or near the village of Bernon, in Smithfield, a fountain, to supply with water, for domestic and other purposes, the mills and dwellings in Bernon and its vicinity." No evidence has been found that this company built a system.  Buffum had earlier built a water system serving Woonsocket Falls that was the subject of an 1858 court case.

The incorporators were:  Sullivan A. Ballou and his uncle Henry Green Ballou.  Samuel Greene was the superintendent of the Bernon Mills for nearly forty years until his death in 1868.  Stephen N. Mason (1811-1889, Thomas Fales. Mason (1815-1899), Hardin Knight (1806-1885), Darius Daniels Buffum (1805-1889).

Water is provided by the City of Woonsocket.

1855 An act to incorporate the Bernon Fountain Company.  May, 1855.

1858 Darius D. Buffum v Edward Harris, 5 R.I. 243, March term, 1858, Supreme Court of Rhode Island.  Case about a fountain serving a water system in Woonsocket Falls.

1876 History of Woonsocket, Erastus Richardson
Page 153:  Stephen N. Mason (1811-1889), Mason Soap Works
Page 156:  Samuel Green, agent and superintedent of the Bernon Mills for nearly forty years until his death in 1868.

1888 An Elaborate History and Genealogy of the Ballous in America, by Adin Ballou
Pages 509- 510:  Henry Green Ballou (1806-1882), merchant tailor in Woonsocket.
Pages 1056-1089:  Major Sullivan Ballou (1829-1861), killed at the First Battle of Bull Run.

Woonsocket's Original Mill Villages

2017 Morris A. Pierce