The Social Mill in the 1870's

Woonsocket History

Since the first sawmill was built near Woonsocket Falls in the 1660's, Woonsocket's history has been inseparably tied to its location on the Blackstone River:
  • Growth of an Industrial City - Learn how Woonsocket became one of the country's great textile manufacturing centers.
  • Mill Villages - Visit Woonsocket Falls, Bernon, Jenckesville, Hamlet, Social and Globe - Woonsocket's original mill villages.
  • Growth of Main Street - See how the mill villages of Woonsocket merged into a single urban area with Main Street at its core.
  • Getting Around - Ride the wagons, canal boats, trains and trolleys of nineteenth century Woonsocket.
  • Famous People - Meet the men who changed Woonsocket's early history.
  • Historic Neighborhoods - Visit some of Woonsocket's important residential neighborhoods.
  • Water Power - See how the Blackstone River powered Woonsocket's textile industry for over a hundred years.
  • Mill Construction - Tour some of Woonsocket's historic stone buildings and learn about early mill construction.
  • Wringers, Rubber Shoes and Machines - Textiles were not the only products fueling Woonsocket's growth in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
  • French-Canadian Culture - By the early twentieth century, Woonsocket was the most "French" city in the United States.
  • Industrial Trade Union - Join Woonsocket's most powerful labor union.

Be sure to check out the Woonsocket Harris Public Library Historical Picture Collection.

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