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Pawtucket Travel Guide: 17 reviews and 33 photos


Pawtucket is located just north of Providence ( Pawtuxet Village is my home and it is south of the city). [NOTE "CK" VS. "X" IN THE NAME]
Some people think of the industrial revolution differently than we do. Well...I'm a slow learner. Just didn't occur to me. Please visit these pages to learn more about the industry which began on the Blackstone River with Samual Slater and his early mill. You will also learn about the immigrant labor force including child labor which it took to run the mill from sun up to sun down. The mills are what brought my grandparents when each of the families immigrated from Poland and Canada.
There are so many mills around RI and Mass which developed in the 1800's, starting with water power and later boosted by electricity and railroads. Many of the mills remain in disrepair..some house discount outlets, still others have a new life as condominiums. There are so many stories which could be told about mills, their past, their relevance, and their futures. It all begins at Slater Mill, however... and the Blackstone River that powered it. It's interesting that Rhode Island was once the cotton fabric capitol of the country, and yet cotton was never grown here.
"There are three constants in the history of Rhode Island: our waterways sustain us, our immigrant population enriches us and our ingenuity creates new opportunities for us. This was true in 1793, when Samuel Slater, an immigrant, built the first successful water powered, cotton spinning mill in North America on the banks of the Blackstone River at Pawtucket village, with the talents of local artisans and the entrepreneurial verve of Moses Brown. It continues to be true today. This is celebrated at Slater Mill, a National Historic Landmark and one of the most visited sites in Rhode Island with 30,000 visitors per year, 80 years of preservation experience and long-term partnerships with major universities, public school systems, cultural heritage organizations, tourism agencies, museums, guilds, artists, the business community and many others.

As the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution, Slater Mill holds a unique and important position in American history. It marks the time and place where modern America began, were an agrarian society set forth on a path that would lead to massive social, technological and economic change, creating opportunity for millions of people in a country that would come to lead the [free] world. The story of Slater Mill is the story of innovation, of labour, of women’s rights, of immigration and assimilation, as well as the story of industry. Slater Mill’s relevance as a museum is directly linked to how it engages the community today. It is critically important to engage young people, in particular, in becoming knowledgeable about the conditions under which our prevalent culture was developed. Sharing these stories in the actual place where they began and preserving that place for education and inspiration of future generations are core values that provide context to the lives of all Americans and people from around the world who wish to understand our country. It is culturally, educationally and historically important for people of all ages and origins to be able to come, see, touch, learn and become inspired at Slater Mill.

In the Slater Mill itself, visitors are surrounded by vintage textile machinery bathed in the light of large windows. With expert commentary from costumed interpreters they can imagine the lives of the people – many of them children – who made the early mills come alive. In the nearby Wilkinson Mill they can feel the throb of the great 16,000-pound mill wheel, a replica of the original wheel that harnessed the power of the Blackstone River to make the era’s finest tools. Children get up close and personal with early production processes as they provide the power and operate miniature machinery in the Apprentice Alcove. In the Sylvanus Brown House they can look back to a time when spinning, weaving, cooking and quilting were the stuff of everyday life."

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Mills and visitors center a "must visit" in Pawtucket
  • Cons:difficult traffic patterns
  • In a nutshell:Pawtucket is always struggling to survive
  • Last visit to Pawtucket: Apr 2007
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (8)

Comments (8)

  • aussirose's Profile Photo
    Mar 28, 2013 at 10:05 PM

    I see where your vt nic comes from Janet :o) Quite a bit of history in your hometown area hey. The river boat cruise sounds like my type of thing. Hugs, Ann.

    • Pawtuxet's Profile Photo
      Mar 29, 2013 at 3:04 PM

      There is always confusion between my village of Pawtuxet which straddles the cities of Warwick and Cranston..... vs. the City of Pawtucket which is north of us. Those Narragansett Indian names will get you every time.

  • evaanna's Profile Photo
    Sep 7, 2009 at 7:59 AM

    Interesting page and the more so that it is connected with your family.

  • olja1234's Profile Photo
    Sep 6, 2009 at 1:05 PM

    Interesting page, Janet.

  • Pinat's Profile Photo
    Jul 21, 2009 at 2:13 AM

    I accidentally learned about Pawtucket and am glad to find a nice page on VT. The industrial revoultion's story is interesting and the boat tours seem enjoyable. Hope to make it to that part of the world some day. Greetings from Ankara...

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Dec 15, 2008 at 1:13 PM

    What an informational and interesting introduction, Janet. This is a place I, too, would enjoy. I smiled about your husband loving the minor league ball park.

  • TheWanderingCamel's Profile Photo
    Dec 13, 2008 at 3:20 PM

    Industrial history is always interesting - and your photo of the bell tower is great. leyle

  • tiabunna's Profile Photo
    May 26, 2007 at 4:19 PM

    Thank you Janet, this opens a window into an often little-recognised aspect of American history!

  • Jenniflower's Profile Photo
    May 26, 2007 at 3:50 PM

    Looking forward to reading more re the history here :) Only a couple of castles in SA too... so we were in heaven when we came here! haha


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