The John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor (BRVNHC) is where I've lived for the past 20+ years. It covers 500 square miles of southern Worcester County Massachusetts and Northern Rhode Island. The United States industrial revolution started here in 1793 when Slater Mill was built at the mouth of the Blackstone River in Pawtucket RI. Over the following century the change from farming to industrial production spread all along the Blackstone River and its tributaries. The need for more effective transportation in the valley led to the construction of the Blackstone Canal in 1828.
By the middle of the 19th century, railroads took over the transportation needs of the valley and at the start of the 20th century cheap electricity ended the economic advantage of water power for the mills. While the upheaval caused by the loss of the industry in the valley was disruptive for the residents of the time, it had the benefit of leaving many historic and natural sites intact through the 20th century.
The large scale industry throughout the valley led to severe water pollution problems in the rivers causing the majority of the pollution in Narragansett Bay. Cleanup efforts over the past 50 years have reduced the pollution levels significantly but there is still more cleanup to do before the waters are as clean as they where during the American Revolution.
Use the buttons below for more information about the BRVNHC, including Google Earth files, photos and more.
Follow changes by subscribing to my BRVNHC Web Page Additions and Updates Feed
Links to more information about the BRVNHC:
Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce tourism site (Massachusetts)
Blackstone Valley Tourism Council (Rhode Island)
Blackstone River Valley News aggregates these feeds:
If you know of other RSS sources that should be in these pipes send me an email with your recommendation.
Last Updated 03/30/2013