Courtesy Bud Gurney
One of the critical roles that the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor Commission performs throughout the valley is that of a facilitator of preservation projects. The national significance of the BlackstoneValley is its authentic and heavy concentration of the mill village landscape: the mill surrounded by company owned mill housing settled along the banks of the primary water source with a church and company store, and even a baseball field - all major ingredients of the mill village landscape. Maintaining the authenticity of this landscape requires strong partnerships with private as well as non-profit organizations, local, state and federal agencies.
The Heritage Corridor Commission cannot own nor purchase any land or buildings with the corridor to due to its congressional authorization. Our role is one of facilitator and catalyst to promote good preservation practices and strong partnerships to preserve this historic landscape. While the Corridor Commission works with specific historic sites and communities, we also focus our activities and energies to promote the nationally significant landscape throughout the bi-state region of the Blackstone.
One such significant historic feature of the Blackstone Valley that links the communities and the anchor cities of the Valley, Providence, RI and Worcester, MA is the Blackstone Canal built from 1824 to 1828 and in operation for roughly 20 years. Currently, the Commission is developing an extensive preservation plan for the Canal in the Rhode Island section of the Valley. To learn about the recommendation of the Massachusetts Canal Preservation Plan click here
Did You Know?
After opening America's first successful textile mill, Samuel Slater also helped establish America's first mill village. Slatersville, in North Smithfield, RI, began operations in 1807. His brother John Slater, who lived in the white house seen here, ran the village for almost 40 years.