Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Who was John H. Chafee?
A. John H. Chafee was a U.S. Senator from Rhode Island from 1976-1999. Following his death in 1999, the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor was renamed to honor his work in the development of the Park. Chafee also served as Governor of Rhode Island (1963-1969) and Secretary of the Navy (1969-1972).
Q. Are there black stones in the Blackstone River?
A. There certainly are, but the river is actually named after the Reverend William Blackstone.
Q. Who was the Reverend William Blackstone?
A. William Blackstone (1595-1675) was the first English settler of the Blackstone Valley. He built his home along the river that now bears his name in what is now Cumberland, RI in 1635. Along with being an Anglican minister and colonial pioneer, Blackstone was also an amateur botanist, cultivating the first new strain of apple in the New World, the Yellow Sweeting Apple.
Q. What is a Heritage Corridor?
A. A Heritage Corridor is a different kind of National Park Service Unit. The most obvious distinction is that Heritage Corridors do not own land. For more, please see What's A Corridor.
Did You Know?
The top speed on the Blackstone Canal was 3 mph? The canal barges, pulled by a team of two horses, usually took two days to make the 44 mile journey from Providence, RI to Worcester, MA.