Posted by: herrootsrundeep | March 17, 2014

A Stradivarius in Rhode Island

My grandfather worked for a very important person when he moved to Rhode Island from Nova Scotia: Austin T. Levy was important not only because he provided jobs for people in The Great Depression, but also for the fact that he gave great thought to where he placed his mills for weavingfiber. When he wanted to build another mill, he thought, “well, we don’t want to make this town overcrowded and ruin the quality of life for the people here. So, we will build the new mill in a town that needs jobs–but we want to make sure the town has a school so the workers will have a place to send their school-aged children.” So, Levy picked the town of Woodstock, CT, and built a woolen mill and became a board member at theschool. Long story short, this is now where Rogers Corporation is located–still providing jobs for alot of people!
Personally, Austin T. Levy was important to my family because he gave my grandfather a job–the only reason he left the beautiful Nova Scotia–was to find a job–and then the job happened to be one that used my grandfather’s skills so well that it gave him a sense of pride and self-confidence, that he went toodling around Rhode Island and CT, looking for land to build a farm that would use his skills and give his 8-year-old son the same life-long skills.To show you how important Truman’s job was at Stillwater Worsted fiber mills, he was the one that was sent to Levy’s other mills, even in other countries, to do maintenance and repair work. He even did work on Levy’s house, a beautiful mansion. And this is where I get to tell you about the title of the blog–Austin T. Levy even had a love of music–so what do you have if you love music–and very well-to-do? A Stradivarius Violin! So, not many workers were invited into Levy’s house to do work, but Truman was true-ly trusted and respected. Guess “who” Levy gave his Stradivarius to? The Boston Symphony Orchestra, o’course!



  1. Hmmm, do not know how that video got on there, very strange. Another mystery, the likes of which it may be better we don’t know. One day when a stillborn calf was born, I asked my grandfather why it died, and he said, “some of the mysteries of life are mysteries for a reason–and they have been mysteries for thousands of years, so it is not likely you and I are going to solve it right here”. So, there is some stalwart Nova Scotian wisdom!

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