• The Slater Mill (yellow) and Wilkinson Mill (stone), along the Blacktone River in Pawtucket RI

    Blackstone River Valley

    National Heritage Corridor MA,RI

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?

Canoe shooting Millbury rapids on Blackstone River

That the Blackstone River is getting cleaner? Efforts are underway to transform the Blackstone, once considered "dead' due to a century of industrial abuse, into a fishable and swimmable river by 2015!