Monday, December 14, 2009

Blacktone River Valley

Reverse Reads: "New Blackstone River Dam on South Main St., at Globe Bridge Woonsocket, R.I."

From the National Parks Service site:

"The Blackstone River runs from Worcester, MA to Providence, RI. Its waters powered the Slater Mill in Pawtucket, RI, America's first successful textile mill. This creative spark began the nation's transformation from Farm to Factory. Today, the Blackstone River Valley is a special type of National Park - a living landscape containing thousands of natural and historic treasures."

I grew up on the Massachusetts/Rhode Island border in a town called Uxbridge. I taught at the high school there for several years too. The Blackstone Valley National Heritage Corridor runs through Uxbridge. When I was young the river and canal were in the woods and full of garbage, but then they made it a National Heritage Corridor, cleaned it up, and made it a park.

The old tow path where the mules walked to pull barges down the canal is now a footpath. It's really pretty. I used to take my creative writing classes down there and we'd sit in a meadow between the Blackstone River and Blackstone Canal and work on sensory writing.

Here are some photos I took there several years back.
Canal Trail
Canal Trail Bridge
Stanley Woolen Mill and Canal
This is the Stanley Woolen Mill, one of many mills that got power from the Blackstone.

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