Posted by: Jonathan Caswell | May 4, 2012



Been away from Webster too long,

The Cranston Print Works is gone!

My jaw hit the floor

Seeing it was no more,

Tearing down history is wrong.

Perhaps it was a stinky factory

Whose time had gone past economy…

But they’ll save the clock tower,

It’s still a cold shower

For those sorrowed by this deed.

Old industrial buildings in these parts

Are a dime a two-dozen in carts…

And a burden emptied,

Rat-infested, in need

Of investment for vanishing arts.

In Webster, newer buildings in back,

Will be saved—built over train tracks

That were ripped up long ago

When the train got too slow—

Two truck garages saved the axe!

Industry “brown fields” remain problems

Redeveloping buildings by recobbling…

Sometimes it is true

To trash the old for the new,

Despite muted sounds of my sobbing.

So I’m glad despite sudden shock

That some “better” can fill this block…

Shopping we don’t need

But new parking is guaranteed,

Now I wonder who’ll be winding that old clock?

I hope, with the coup de grace (“graws”)

Someone documented the cause

With a full-page spread…

Special edition, well-said,

That won’t rub our history raw.

—Jonathan Caswell



  1. how true are your words history is what made us! I get upset at times when those do not want to preserve our past. Our past is what brings us a brighter future.

    • Thank you…but intact industrial sites have a limited use—the public will support only so many museums. I think the former “Guilford” mill over in Douglas, MA, now being used by CLASSIC ENVELOPE for manufacturing again was fortunate. A local college was looking at that mill as a satellite school location, but there was real concern over what chemicals were in the building and the foundation that wouldn’t have passed muster for that particular use.

      NO…we can’t keep everything. Just a shock to see it gone.

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