Saturday, June 23, 2012

Ranger Walkabouts 2012

The John H Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor is once again offering a series of Thursday Night Walkabouts this summer. Each Thursday this summer the National Park Rangers, or one of our volunteer partners, will offer a free program somewhere in the Blackstone Valley - a chance for you to explore part of the history or natural beauty of the Valley we call home.
One focus of the Walkabouts this year will be the Bicentennial celebration of the War of 1812.  Although no battles were fought here, the Blackstone Valley was greatly transformed by the war.  According to Ranger Kevin Klyberg, “the War of 1812, and the international embargoes that led up to it, were the key elements to the “cotton mill fever” that swept across the Blackstone Valley between 1807 and 1815. With the importation of British textiles cut off, the number of cotton spinning mills in the Blackstone Valley jumped from eight mills in 1809, to forty-two mills in 1815. Along with the new mills came the first mill villages, truly establishing the industrial landscape that is the hallmark of the Blackstone Valley story.”
Other highlights of the 2012 Walkabout series include new programs about the construction of a new fish ladder at the Pawtucket Falls, and a tour highlighting Charles Dickens’ two visits to Worcester.  The season kicks off with a visit to Hopedale, Massachusetts.  From religious commune to factory town, Hopedale has a long and vibrant history. Beginning with a small group of religious idealist seeking to create a perfect community, Hopedale evolved into the home of the largest manufacturer of looms in America at the Draper Corporation. The tour begins at the Hopedale Unitarian Church, 65 Hopedale Street, Hopedale, MA 01747.
June 21                
Slatersville: America’s First Planned Village
Meet at North Smithfield Public Library, 20 North Main Street

June 28                
Roger Williams’ Providence
Meet at Roger Williams National Memorial, 282 North Main Street

July 5         
Blackstone and the War of 1812
Meet at Blackstone Municipal Center, 15 St. Paul St., Blackstone, MA
July 12
Millbury: Asa Waters, Armory Village, and the Building of a New Nation, Meet at Asa Waters Mansion, 123 Elm Street

July 19                 
Historical Cemetery Walk
Meeting place TBA

July 26                 
Rogerson’s Village, Uxbridge
Meet at Progressive Club Parking Lot
18 Whitin St

August 2     
Great Road and the War of 1812
Meet at Hearthside House, Great Road, Lincoln, RI

August 9     
Sargent’s Trench/Fish Ladder
Meet at Slater Mill Historic Site, 67 Roosevelt Avenue, Pawtucket

August 16   
Ashton Village
Meet at Kelly House
Lincoln, RI

August 23
Civil War in the Blackstone Valley (Talk)
Worcester Historical Museum, Worcester, MA

August 30   
Charles Dickens’ Worcester
Meeting place TBA
Worcester, MA

September 6
The Strike of 1934
Meeting Place TBA
Saylesville, RI

September 13
New Date!  TBA

All programs start at 6:30 PM and are free.  Programs are cancelled in the case of lightning.