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Pawtucket in Providence County, Rhode Island — The American Northeast (New England)
 

Harnessing the Power of the Blackstone River

Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park, Slater Mill Historic Site

— National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior —

 
 
Harnessing the Power of the Blackstone River Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), June 19, 2020
1. Harnessing the Power of the Blackstone River Marker
Inscription.  
Control of waterpower meant control of economic, political, and social power.

A mill developer's first "power grab" was to build a walled dam. This created a pond that stored water to power the mill.

Other villagers didn't willingly give up control, however. Fishermen, artisans, farmers, and others relied on a natural river flow.

When Samuel Slater began building this dam, citizens filed a lawsuit against him. Four of them destroyed the dam when it was partially built. Yet, Slater pressed on and finished the dam before the courts had a chance to decide on the case.

This dam was built one section at a time. Oziel Wilkinson managed the construction. It was completed in November 1792.
 
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Civil RightsIndustry & CommerceNotable EventsWaterways & Vessels. A significant historical month for this entry is November 1792.
 
Location. 41° 52.639′ N, 71° 22.955′ 
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W. Marker is in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, in Providence County. Marker can be reached from Roosevelt Avenue, 0.1 miles north of Main Street (Rhode Island Route 15), on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 67 Roosevelt Ave, Pawtucket RI 02860, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A Family Business (here, next to this marker); Milling Machines (within shouting distance of this marker); The Wilkinson Mill (within shouting distance of this marker); Birthplace of American Manufacturing (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Wilkinson Mill (within shouting distance of this marker); Water Works (within shouting distance of this marker); The Old Slater Mill (within shouting distance of this marker); First Successful Cotton Mill in America (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Pawtucket.
 
Harnessing the Power of the Blackstone River Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), June 19, 2020
2. Harnessing the Power of the Blackstone River Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 21, 2020. It was originally submitted on June 21, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 89 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on June 21, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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Mar. 3, 2024