WEST WARWICK – Many of West Warwick’s longtime residents can remember the days of the old Crompton Library.
“I have fond memories of a child as coming here… I went to the old St. Mary’s school on the corner. I remember crossing the road as a child and coming down to the library. This was the place where a lot of people came to get a lot of information back then,” said Ann E. Bianchi, a West Warwick resident and local artist.
The library was originally built by the owners of the nearby mill, the Crompton Company, and dates back to 1876. Although does not still serve as a library, it serves as the home for the Pawtuxet Valley Preservation and Historical Society (PVPHS).
Considering the building’s historical significance, Cecelia St. Jean, the grant writer and former president of PVPHS, explained that she asked Bianchi to paint a picture of the building.
Bianchi readily agreed.
“I thought it would be a good idea because I planned on donating it the whole time. I suggested that they make some prints to generate funds for the society,” said Bianchi.
The painting gives a representation of what the library looked like years ago. Bianchi explained that she used watercolors to show the “historic look of the boys in the knickers from the time.”
“I also referenced an antique postcard… that’s how I understood there to be a white picket fence which I didn’t know what there,” she said.
There also used to be a large tree to the right of the building.
“So there have been a lot of changes since,” she said.
“I really enjoyed the historic aspect of doing it. I kind of struggled to make sure that I had things in its place,” added Bianchi, stressing that she wanted the painting to give an accurate portrayal of the building.
The full story can be found in today's edition of The Times.