Star and North Main Street, Providence, Rhode Island Photos circa 1912, Preston Collection, Rhode Island State Archives, 337 Westminster Street, Providence, Rhode Island, 02903. (Submitted by Charles M. Whipple, 18 Sep 2005.)
Of this photo, Charles writes:
The ... photo is a panoramic looking north from Star Street (ascending on the right) where Whipple Hall was located, and Mill Street on the left where John Jr. and Joseph had their Inns, and Sarah's mill was located. Capt. John's house is the sixth up the right side of the street. The row of houses on the left side of the street was not there (nor is it there now) during the first and second Whipple generations, and probably longer. It looks to me that the first five houses north from Star Street are newer additions (buttressed together) with their doors leading right onto the street. Capt. John's front door, as it always had, opens to the south, with the house oriented east/west, and looks like a house, whereas the others look like apartment buildings.
The streets are not paved. I understand now why the city had to dig out the street so close to the old houses on the right--it was to build houses on the left side of the street. There is a sheer drop off of from one to 50 or more feet to the left of the left row of houses, particularly as Main Street ascends around the corner to the northeast, so we see why Main is so narrow. As is evident, to the right side of the right row of houses is a steep hill.
The house next to 369 is a plumbing supply, then a grocery, a store front synagogue or Jewish reading room, bakery, and a laundry. These buildings, including 369, were in very bad repair.
What a stark contrast to the photo of this area that I took and sent to the Whipple Website last summer. My photo was taken just outside of the front door of the Roger Williams Tourist Information Center at his park. The 1912 photo looks to have been taken about 20 yards or so to the northeast out into the intersection of Main and Star.