The John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor is a National Heritage Corridor dedicated to the history of the early American Industrial Revolution, including mill towns stretching across 24 cities and towns (400,000 acres (1,620 km²) in total) near the river's course in Worcester County, Massachusetts and Providence County, Rhode Island. It makes up a historical area in the Blackstone Valley and is named for the late US Senator from Rhode Island John Chafee. In 2014, the Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park was created out of a smaller portion of the National Heritage Corridor. Both units now exist as cooperative entities. The organization is headquartered at the building in Woonsocket Depot Square which is located at 1 Depot Square, Woonsocket, RI 02895.
The National Corridor was designated by an Act of Congress on November 10, 1986 to preserve and interpret for present and future generations the unique and significant value of the Blackstone Valley. It includes cities, towns, villages and almost one million people. The Federal government does not own or manage any of the land or resources in the corridor as it does in the more traditional national parks. Instead the National Park Service, two state governments, dozens of local municipalities, businesses, nonprofit historical and environmental organizations, educational institutions, many private citizens, and a Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor Commission all work together in partnerships to protect the Valley's special identity and prepare for its future.
The Blackstone River Greenway is a planned 48-mile (77 km) paved rail trail defining the course of the East Coast Greenway through the National Corridor. As of 2017, approximately 11.5 miles (18.5 km) of the greenway has been completed in Rhode Island and 6.9 miles (11.1 km) in Massachusetts.
On October 12, 2006 the National Heritage Areas Act of 2006 was signed by the President, enacting it as Public Law Number 109-338. This legislation extends the Corridor Commission for five years until October 12, 2011.
On July 18, 2011 a report recommended the corridor for national park status.
Note: In some cases, only a portion of the city or town is included in the Corridor.
Blackstone is a town in Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 9,026 at the 2010 census. It is a part of the Providence metropolitan area.
Northbridge is a town in Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 15,707 at the 2010 census. The Northbridge Town Hall is located at 7 Main Street in Whitinsville. The town is now a part of the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor, of the National Park Service. Northbridge claims to history include: Native American Nipmuc lands, Colonel John Spring, who led the Uxbridge militia training company in the American Revolution, Samuel Spring, Revolutionary War Chaplain, the Residence of Ezra T. Benson 1830-1832, the birthplace of President Millard Fillmore's mother, Phoebe, and home to the Whitin Machine Works from 1831 to 1964
Uxbridge is a town in Worcester County, Massachusetts first colonized in 1662 and incorporated in 1727. It was originally part of the town of Mendon, and named for the Earl of Uxbridge. The town is located 36 mi (58 km) southwest of Boston and 15 mi (24 km) south-southeast of Worcester, at the midpoint of the Blackstone Valley National Historic Park. Uxbridge was a prominent Textile center in the American Industrial Revolution. Two local Quakers served as national leaders in the American anti-slavery movement. Uxbridge "weaves a tapestry of early America".
Cumberland is the northeasternmost town in Providence County, Rhode Island, United States, first settled in 1635 and incorporated in 1746. The population was 33,506 at the 2010 census.
North Smithfield is a town in Providence County, Rhode Island, United States, settled as a farming community in 1666 and incorporated into its present form in 1871. North Smithfield includes the historic villages of Forestdale, Primrose, Waterford, Branch Village, Union Village, Park Square, and Slatersville. The population was 12,314 at the 2015 census.
Woonsocket, is a city in Providence County, Rhode Island, United States. The population was 41,186 at the 2010 census, making it the sixth largest city in the state. Woonsocket lies directly south of the Massachusetts state line and constitutes part of both the Providence metropolitan area and the larger Greater Boston Combined Statistical Area.
The East Coast Greenway is a 3,000-mile (4,800 km) biking and walking route linking the major cities of the Atlantic coast of the United States, from Calais, Maine, to Key West, Florida. The spine route and branching complementary routes are for non-motorized human transportation for everything from local commutes to long-distance trips.
The Blackstone River is a river in the U.S. states of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. It flows approximately 48 mi (80 km) and drains a watershed of approximately 540 sq. mi (1,400 km2). Its long history of industrial use has left a legacy of pollution, and it was characterized by the United States Environmental Protection Agency in 1990 as "the most polluted river in the country with respect to toxic sediments."
A National Heritage Area is a site designated by United States and intended to encourage historic preservation of the area and an appreciation of the history and heritage of the site. There are currently 55 National Heritage Areas, some of which use variations of the title, such as National Heritage Corridor.
The New York and New England Railroad was a major railroad connecting southern New York State with Hartford, Connecticut, Providence, Rhode Island, and Boston, Massachusetts. It operated under that name from 1873 to 1893. Prior to 1873 it was known as the Boston, Hartford and Erie Railroad, which had been formed by several smaller railroads dating back to 1846. After bankruptcy in 1893, the New York and New England Railroad was reorganized and became known as the New England Railroad before its 1898 lease to the competing New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad. Today, most of the original New York and New England lines have been abandoned; however a portion in Massachusetts is now part of the MBTA's Franklin Line providing commuter rail service to South Station in Boston. The Connecticut Southern Railroad operates freight service on a small portion of the former NY&NE line near East Hartford and Manchester, Connecticut. Other portions in Connecticut and Rhode Island have been converted to rail trails.
The Blackstone Valley or Blackstone River Valley is a region of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. It was a major factor in the American Industrial Revolution. It makes up part of the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor.
The Blackstone Canal was a waterway linking Worcester, Massachusetts, to Providence, Rhode Island through the Blackstone Valley via a series of locks and canals during the early 19th century.
The Blackstone River Greenway is a partially completed 48-mile (77 km) paved rail-with-trail defining the course of the East Coast Greenway through the Blackstone Valley from Worcester, Massachusetts to Providence, Rhode Island.
The Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park is a part of the state park system of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, managed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). This 1,000-acre (4.0 km2) park "recalls the role of canals in transporting raw materials and manufactured goods between emerging industrial centers." The Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park at Uxbridge, Massachusetts, is the midpoint of the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor of the National Park System. The Blackstone River and Valley is where the industrial revolution was born in America. The southern entrance to this state park is the site of the historic Stanley Woolen Mill, currently being redeveloped for commercial and tourism. The Native American Nipmuc name for the village here was "Wacentug", translated as "bend in the river".
Ironstone is an historic village,, in the township of Uxbridge, Massachusetts, United States. It derived its name from plentiful bog iron found here which helped Uxbridge to become a center for three iron forges in the town's earliest settlement. South Uxbridge has historic sites, picturesque weddings, hospitality, industrial and distribution centers, and the new Uxbridge High School. This community borders North Smithfield, and Burrillville, Rhode Island, and Millville, Massachusetts. South Uxbridge receives municipal services from Uxbridge, for fire, police, EMS, School district, public works, and other services. There is a South Uxbridge fire station of the Uxbridge fire department. Worcester's Judicial District includes Uxbridge District Court. Ironstone appears on the Blackstone U.S. Geological Survey Map. Worcester County is in the Eastern time zone and observes DST.
West Hill Dam Reserve is a United States Army Corps of Engineers flood control project with a recreational park and wildlife management area located at Uxbridge, Massachusetts. The West Hill Dam Project was completed in 1960. It is located on the West River, one of the branches of the Blackstone River which flows from Worcester, MA to Providence, RI. The West River originates in Grafton, Massachusetts, at Cider Mill Pond and Silver Lake, near Upton, Massachusetts, and the Upton State Forest. The dam is unusual in that it isn't filled unless there is a flood. West Hill Dam was built after devastating floods during the 1950s; it is intended to protect the Blackstone Valley from future destructive flooding. The cities and towns downriver from Uxbridge, including Millville, Blackstone, Woonsocket, North Smithfield, Cumberland, Lincoln, Central Falls, Pawtucket and Providence, Rhode Island, suffered extensive flooding from the Blackstone during Hurricane Diane in 1955. Hurricane Donna tested this new dam in 1960 as the eyewall passed over. The West Hill Dam is located in the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor near the Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park. Park rangers provide visitor assistance and offer scheduled interpretative programs. Fishing, hunting, and wildlife viewing opportunities are available year-round. The park has a recreation area, 34 picnic sites, one playground, a swimming area and five miles of hiking trails. West Hill Dam is also the field office for the Charles River Natural Valley Storage Area. It consists of scattered wetlands in the upper and middle Charles River watershed, between the towns of Bellingham and Needham. The wetlands provide flood storage area, fisheries, wildlife management, and recreation. The Charles River is the well-known watercourse that flows into Boston Harbor.
The Museum of Work and Culture is a museum in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, that features exhibits focusing on the city's textile manufacturing heritage. The museum is operated by the Rhode Island Historical Society and located at 42 South Main Street in Market Square in the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor.
The West River, in the US state of Massachusetts, is a 13.4-mile-long (21.6 km) tributary of the Blackstone River.
Woonsocket station is a former railroad station located at Depot Square in downtown Woonsocket, Rhode Island. It was built by the Providence and Worcester Railroad in 1882 to replace a previous station built in 1847.
Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park is a National Park Service unit in the states of Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The park was created for the purpose of preserving, protecting, and interpreting the industrial heritage of the Blackstone River Valley and the urban, rural, and agricultural landscape of that region. The Blackstone River Valley was the site of some of the earliest successful textile mills in the United States, and these mills contributed significantly to the earliest American Industrial Revolution. The subsequent construction of the Blackstone Canal, a few years after the successful completion of the Erie Canal, helped to sustain the region's industrial strength.