Category Archives: Rhode Island

Home of George L. Bradley (Providence, R.I.)

Home of George L. Bradley (Providence, R.I.)

Home first of Charles S. Bradley, former Chief Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court and father of George L. Bradley. By the late 1880s, George Bradley became the primary financier of the construction of the privately owned Florida Coast Line Canal & Transportation Company which would later become Florida’s Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. George grew up in his father’s home, one of George’s three principal residences throughout his life. Today, the home is St. Martin Hall of Providence College. The college bought the residence from the Estate of George Lothrop Bradley after he died in 1906. It should be noted that several references, including Wikipedia, improperly state that George’s middle initial was “M.”

George L. Bradley, president of the Florida canal company

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Born in Providence, R.I., in 1846, George Lothrop Bradley had made three fortunes by the time he had become the largest investor in the Florida waterway. Bradley made his first fortune investing in the Newport Mining Company, a square-mile iron mine property along the Michigan upper peninsula-Wisconsin border, in the late 1870s. The mine would produce ore for another seventy years. His second fortune came when he invested in the Mergenthaler Linotype Company, an enterprise based on the invention of a new method of publishing. Molten lead would be poured into an entire line of type instead of composing a line of type single letter-by-single letter. Bradley made his third fortune investing in Alexander Graham Bell’s new invention–the telephone.  Civil War financier Jay Cooke introduced Bradley to his fourth opportunity to become even more wealthy by investing in the Florida canal company beginning in the mid-1880s. Courtesy, Emma Pendleton Bradley Hospital, East Providence, R.I.