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

    Blackstone River Valley

    National Heritage Corridor MA,RI

New Park Legislation

Ranger Ray Boswell at Wilikinson Mill

Legislation filed to create a new National Park in the Blackstone River Valley
On October 13, 2011 bills were filed in both the United States Senate and House to "establish the John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park." The Senate bill was introduced by Senators Jack Reed (D-RI), John Kerry (D-MA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Scott Brown (R-MA). The House bill was introduced by Representatives David Cicilline (D-RI), Richard E. Neal (D-MA), James McGovern (D-MA), and James Langevin (D-RI).

Following the recommendations of extensive input from local stakeholders and historians, the new multi-site park would encompass land in both Rhode Island and Massachusetts, including the Blackstone River and its tributaries; the Blackstone Canal; the non-contiguous nationally significant historic districts of Old Slater Mill in Pawtucket; the villages of Slatersville (in North Smithfield) and Ashton (in Cumberland) Rhode Island; and Whitinsville (in Northbridge) and Hopedale in Massachusetts.

This page will be updated with any news about the progress of these bills into law.

To learn more about this legislation you may:

Click here to view a copy of the Senate bill to establish a new park.

Click here to view a press release about the Senate bill.

Click here to view a press release about the House bill.

Click here to view the Summary and Status of the Senate bill.

Click here to view the Summary and Status of the House bill.

On March 7, 2012 the bill was discussed before the Senate Subcommittee on National Parks. Click here to see a video of the hearing.

Did You Know?

Central Diner in Millbury, MA

The classic American Diner is another Blackstone Valley innovation. In 1872, Walter Scott began selling food from a horse drawn covered wagon in Providence, RI. In 1887, the first diner manufacturer opened in Worcester, MA.