The records consist of one copy of the historic resources archive documentation (text and photos on archival quality materials) for the Newell Bridge No. 204 prepared by Edward Connors and Associates for the Department of Transportation.
First settled as an agricultural area in the late 18th century, a small, linear residential and commercial settlement emerged at Diamond Hill by the early 19th century. This community prospered with the introduction of a depot of the Rhode Island and Massachusetts Railroad in 1877 and a granite mining operation at nearby Catamint Hill. Diamond Hill Road, providing a southern route to Pawtucket and Providence, has seen a succession of bridges spanning Sneech Brook since ca 1800. Newell Bridge No. 204, on Diamond Hill Road approximately 3/8 of a mile south of the village of Diamond Hill, is associated with the Newell family's farm and mill from ca 1800 to 1927, significant masonry remains of which are found to the east and southeast of the bridge. Much of the Newell land was condemned by the Pawtucket Water Supply Board in 1927 for the construction ofthe Arnold Mills Reservoir. Newell Dam, once impounding Sneech Brook on both sides ofthe bridge, was likely breached at the time of the condemnation. Thus, the bridge and vicinity is also associated with the development and expansion of the area's public water supply.
The bridge is also a rare example of the adaptation to automobile-era uses of elements of a late 19th-century highway bridge. Newell Bridge today comprises an 1886 granite masonry substructure modified with concrete to accept a 20th-century reinforced concrete superstructure on an altered road grade. This work, carried out in 1926 by the Bridge Department of the SBPR, was contemporaneous with grade improvements to Diamond Hill Road and the construction of the reservoir.
Scope and Contents: The records consist of one copy of the historic resources archive documentation (text and photos on archival quality materials) for the Newell Bridge No. 204 prepared by Edward Connors and Associates for the Department of Transportation. The Department of Transportation proposed replacement of Newell Bridge No. 204 was found to have an adverse effect on the Newell Bridge No. 204, a historic property that was determined eligible for listing in the the National Register of Historic Places.