Woonsocket in Providence County, Rhode Island — The American Northeast (New England)
The Blackstone Canal opened for business on a sunny day in July, 1828 with thundering artillery salutes and roaring crowds. Stretching 45 miles from Providence to Worcester, the Blackstone Canal was built with the strength and ingenuity of thousands and backed by dozens of investors. The canal changed the area's landscape and social fabric, brought new retail goods to residents, and transported produce to distant markets.
Work teams including some of the region's first Irish immigrants built the massive granite locks and canal walls by hand. In 1825, more than a thousand men were at work on the Massachusetts section alone. In the portions of the canal that remain, you can see the precision and artistry of their labor.
The canal was hampered by draught and seasonal ice and flooding, as well as ongoing disputes over water rights with mill owners. By the time the last paying boat passed through Woonsocket in 1848, railroads had made the canal obsolete.
Today, the Blackstone Canal is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It serves as a living monument to the Industrial Revolution
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The Blackstone Canal passed through farmland and forests along its way from Worcester to Providence. Without any delays, the journey took approximately two days. Volunteer clean-ups have helped restore the natural beauty surrounding the Blackstone Canal.
Providence merchant John Brown first proposed a canal to Worcester in 1790, but was defeated by Boston merchants who feared that their city would be reduced to a mere fishing village.
Today - canal barges loaded with cargo have been replaced by canoes and kayaks.
In background-"Lady Carrington."
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Waterways & Vessels. A significant historical month for this entry is July 1828.
Location. 41° 59.996′ N, 71° 30.996′ W. Marker is in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, in Providence County. Marker is at the intersection of Main Street and Bernon Street, on the right when traveling south on Main Street. Located in Market Square. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Woonsocket RI 02895, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Power Trenches (here, next to this marker); Ethnicity (within shouting distance of this marker); Blackstone River Valley (within shouting distance of this marker); Community Development (within shouting distance of this marker); Blackstone Canal (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Woonsocket Falls (about 300 feet away); Cross of Malta (about 700 feet away); Veterans Memorial Park (approx. Ό mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Woonsocket.
Also see . . . Blackstone Canal (Wikipedia). (Submitted on May 3, 2022, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.)
Credits. This page was last revised on May 3, 2022. It was originally submitted on May 3, 2022, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. This page has been viewed 40 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on May 3, 2022, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.