Valley Sites - Millbury, Leicester, Grafton
Millbury is well named, as the Blackstone River, Singletary Brook and other waterways powered mills making guns, lumber, paper, textiles and many other products. Despite all of this bustle, Millbury has managed to maintain its small town New England charm.
Asa Water’s Mansion
123 Elm Street
Main Street Bridge
One of Leicester’s greatest contributions to the Blackstone Valley was Pliny Earle, who helped Samuel Slater develop the waterpowered carding machine he needed at his mill. Leicester was a major card cloth manufacturer, and the mill villages of Rochedale and Cherry Valley.
Like most towns in the Blackstone River Valley, Grafton provides a study in contrasts. Mill villages dominate the southwestern corner of town where the Blackstone River cuts through, while the rest of Grafton contained rolling hills and farmland, now suburbanized, centered on one of the lovely town commons in New England.
Willard House and Clock Museum
11 Willard Street
North Street and Worcester Street
Did You Know?
Children as young as age six were hired to work in the textile mills of the Blackstone River Valley. These adolescent workers were employed by the Lonsdale Company, c. 1912. Photos such as this helped lead to the passage of child labor laws.