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

    Blackstone River Valley

    National Heritage Corridor MA,RI

Valley Sites - Douglas, Sutton, Northbridge

Shelf full of items in Jenckes Store Museum

E.L. Jenckes Store Museum

DOUGLAS

Forests have played an essential role in the town of Douglas since its creation. The forests here were harvested to provide everything from firewood and planking to axe handles for the Douglas Axe Company. Today those same forests attract people to Douglas as a place for recreation and reflection.

E.L. Jenckes Store Museum
Built in 1833, the Jenckes Store is a classic example of a small town general store. Now operated as a museum by the Douglas Historical Society, the store is stocked today as it would have been a century ago. Open seasonally; call for programs and special events.

283 Main Street
Douglas, MA 01516
(508) 476-3856

East Douglas
East Douglas is a charming village that evolved from a farming community into an industrial village. Along with textile mills, East Douglas was also home to the Douglas Axe Manufacturing Company which took advantage of the town’s natural resources of wood and waterpower.

Main Street (Rt. 16)
Douglas, MA

Douglas State Forest
This popular 4,640-acre state forest offers a variety of recreational opportunities. Visitors can enjoy swimming, boating and fishing at Wallum Lake and hiking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing on miles of woodland trails. Douglas State Forest also includes a rare example of Atlantic White Cedar swampland that can be explored along a swamp trail. Open Sunrise to Sunset.

Wallum Lake Road
Douglas, MA 01516
(508) 476-7872
mass.gov/dcr/parks/central/doug.

 
Sutton Town common

Sutton Common

SUTTON

Sutton is proud of its agricultural heritage, producing corn, fruits and dairy products for towns throughout the region. The town center is a classic example of a crossroads farming community. But even Sutton was touched on its fringes by the industrial revolution as attested to by the mill villages of Manchaug and Wilkinsonville.

Waters Farm
Waters Farm is a living history farm museum that celebrates 19th century rural life. The farmhouse and its contents, used for over 200 years by the same family, are intact. Located on 130 acres of fields and woods are the farmhouse, blacksmith shop and shingle mill. Call for programs and special events.

4 Uxbridge Road
Sutton, MA 01590
(508) 865-0101
www.watersfarm.com

Purgatory Chasm
A unique natural landmark, Purgatory Chasm runs for a quarter of a mile between granite walls rising as high as 70 feet. Popular with picnickers and rock-climbers alike, the Chasm is believed to have its origin in the sudden release of dammed-up glacial meltwater near the end of the last Ice Age, approximately 14,000 years ago. Trails lead to a variety of rock formations, with such romantic names as The Corn Crib, The Coffin, The Pulpit, Lovers' Leap and Fat Man's Misery. Open from sunrise to sunset.

Purgatory Road
Sutton, MA 01590
(508) 234-3733
mass.gov/dcr/parks/central/purg

Manchaug Village
Manchaug is a wonderfully preserved mill village along the banks of the Mumford River. The mills here for many years were owned by B.B. and R. Knight, makers of Fruit of the Loom. The attractive stone mills have been revitalized and are being reused for a number of small businesses.

Main Street at Whitins Road
Sutton, MA

The General Rufus Putnam Hall
This building, adjacent to the Town Hall, was constructed in 1823 by the Olive Branch of the Master Masons. In later years, it was used as a school, a meeting place for the DAR and the Town Library. Since 1984 Rufus Putnam Hall has been homr to the Sutton Historical Society usage of the building. The Society hosts a guest speaker on the first Tuesday of each month at 7 -30 pm. The museum is open each Tuesday from 7pm to 9pm.

suttonhistoricalsociety.org

 
Linwood Mill

Linwood Mill

NORTHBRIDGE

Harnessing water as a source of power was the key to industrialization in the Blackstone River Valley. A prime example of this is Northbridge, with its chain of mills along the Blackstone, and the wonderful series of dams and holding ponds that turned the small Mumford River into the driving engine of the massive Whitin Machine Works.

Plummer’s Landing
Plummer’s Landing is the northern end of the Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park. In 1837, Israel Plummer built a general store and warehouse here next to a canal lock. Today Plummer’s landing serves as a trail head and canoe access site. Open dawn to dusk.

Church Street
Northbridge, MA
http://mass.gov/dcr/parks/central/blst.htm

Whitinsville
Whitinsville was the home of the Whitin Machine Works, an internationally renowned maker of textile machinery. “The Shop” specialized in making machines for picking, carding and spinning cotton and wool. Touring Whitinsville today you can still see much of the original village, including the worker housing, churches and the Community Center.

Main Street
Northbridge, MA

Lookout Rock
Lookout Rock provides one of the most spectacular views in the Blackstone Valley. Standing atop the rock, you have a view of the Blackstone River snaking its way through Northbridge and Uxbridge and through the Rice City Pond. Open from dawn to dusk.

Quaker Street
Northbridge, MA
http://mass.gov/dcr/parks/central/blst.htm

Did You Know?

Hand colored drawing of barge on Blackstone Canal in Millbury

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.