History of Blackstone Valley

Blackstone Valley has been called “the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution.” The Blackstone River, which runs from Worcester, MA to Providence, RI, is powered through the Slater Mill in Pawtucket, RI. The Slater Mill is America’s first successful cotton spinning mill!

It all started back in 1789, when Providence merchant, Moses Brown, decided he wanted to build a new factory to spin cotton fiber into thread. This task was performed at the Blackstone River in Pawtucket. After months of hard work and determination, Brown found himself in need of a helping hand. It was then that he decided to hire Samuel Slater, who had recently immigrated to America from England.

About a year later, Slater helped fix up Brown’s machinery in order to get the mill into operation. It was then that the first successful water powered cotton-spinning factory was created, which marked history in the United States!

As the years went on, more and more larger mills were created, which brought the need for more workers to fill them and keep them working properly. Since so many workers became invested in this project, the face of Blackstone Valley was changed. So many people with different backgrounds and cultures came to work, which brought many new languages to the area.

With the revolutionizing of industrialization came the need for different ways of transportation. Workers found themselves in need of transporting the heavy cargo between the mills on the river and the ports of Providence. To do this efficiently, cheaply and effectively, the Blackstone Canal was created.

A couple years later, the Railroad was created, which allowed for the transportation of so many materials and goods between Blackstone Valley as well as as the ports of Providence and Boston.

The historical elements that helped create Blackstone Valley into what it is today are still prominent! Blackstone Valley’s river, canal, mill villages as well as the beautiful landscape are what created it into the stunning area that it is today.

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