Nationwide Park Service hopes to draw extra vacationers to Slater Mill


The Nationwide Park Service formally owns the Previous Slater Mill Nationwide Historic Landmark District in Pawtucket following the switch of possession final week. (Breeze Photograph by Melanie Thibeault)

PAWTUCKET – It is official: The Nationwide Parks Service now controls the Previous Slater Mill Nationwide Historic District in Pawtucket after possession was transferred final week, and NPS leaders say they’re excited to begin attracting extra vacationers to the area.

With the switch of the nonprofit Previous Slater Mill, the property is now formally a part of Blackstone River Valley Nationwide Historic Park, and the NPS will now personal and function the property’s three historic buildings, together with the 1793 Previous Slater Mill, 1810 Wilkinson Mill and 1758 Sylvanus Brown Home. The switch additionally contains the roughly 3 acres of land surrounding the constructions, which incorporates the runway infrastructure for the 2 factories and Hodgson Rotary Park on the west financial institution of the Blackstone River, an announcement mentioned.

“We’re honored to turn out to be the custodians of this extraordinarily essential nationwide historic monument,” mentioned Supt. From park. Eric Breitkreutz. “We stay up for working with our companions, the Previous Slater Mill Affiliation and the City of Pawtucket, to proceed the general public interpretation of this main historic website on the banks of the Blackstone River.

Requested about particular plans to convey extra individuals to the positioning now that it’s beneath the purview of the NPS, Breitkreutz mentioned that within the period of COVID-19, it was troublesome to reply.

“It’s sure that the inclusion of Previous Slater Mill within the nationwide community of NPS websites will increase its profile nationally, attracting extra guests,” he mentioned.

The NPS intends to offer casual outside schooling alternatives beginning in Could and can reopen the museum for public excursions in small numbers and from a secure distance as quickly as it’s secure to take action this summer time and as soon as they employed new employees he instructed me. “We’ll develop particular packages, excursions and occasions as we set up ourselves in place and as we as a area and nation emerge from the pandemic.”

Though in-person occasions stay on hiatus in the interim, he added that employees will proceed to host packages on-line, in hopes of attracting individuals from throughout sooner or later.

Slater Mill, which was accomplished in 1793 and was the primary water mill in america, has a repute as a pivotal website of the Industrial Revolution, Breitkreutz mentioned, and is linked to others Regional NPS websites, together with the Lowell Nationwide Historic Park in Lowell, Massachusetts. “This synergy with different NPS websites will convey extra guests to our nationwide historic monument in Pawtucket,” he mentioned.

Based mostly on the statistics of visits to the Roger Williams Nationwide Memorial in Windfall, he mentioned, there are individuals who come to RI simply to go to a nationwide park.

“These vacationers are virtually assured to go to one other park inside 10 minutes,” he mentioned. “Actually, many individuals base their holidays on visiting particular NPS websites in a specific state or area, so Previous Slater Mill will profit from this model of tourism given its location close to Boston Nationwide Parks, New Bedford. Whaling Nationwide Historic Park, Lowell Nationwide Historic Park and Cape Cod Nationwide Seashore. ”

Now that the NPS owns the Slater Mill website, Breitkreutz has mentioned residents of Pawtucket and around the globe are welcome to go to for historical past, particular occasions, picnics on the inexperienced alongside the Blackstone River. and to go to the upcoming bike path.

The Previous Slater Mill Affiliation, which has maintained the positioning since 1921, is celebrating its a hundredth anniversary this 12 months, and executives there and on the NPS have mentioned they’ll host an occasion as soon as it’s secure to take action.

“The Previous Slater Mill Affiliation has been an unimaginable steward of the property for 100 years, and we’ll proceed their nice custom of website preservation and public schooling in Pawtucket,” he mentioned. “Our hope … is that our nationwide repute as custodians of America’s historical past and historical past will convey much more guests to the positioning in individual and nearly admire the nationwide and worldwide significance of the Cradle of the Revolution.” American industrial firm. ”

Along with buying Slater Mill, the NPS additionally accepted a conservation and preservation easement on the 86 acres of Blackstone River State Park in Lincoln from the Rhode Island Division of Environmental Administration, which can convey segments of the Blackstone Bikeway, an adjoining part of the historic Blackstone Canal and the Captain Wilbur Kelly Home Transport Museum inside the boundaries of the Nationwide Historic Park, in keeping with Breitkreutz.

Though RIDEM nonetheless owns the park, the easement permits NPS to assist interpret, protect and defend the positioning and can convey larger nationwide recognition to the vital position within the begin of the American Industrial Revolution performed by the village of Ashton. in Cumberland and the Captain Wilbur Kelly factories in Lincoln, he mentioned.

Moreover, in keeping with the NPS press launch, 4 Native Historic Districts have been established in 4 distinctive mill villages within the Blackstone River Valley, together with Historic Ashton in Cumberland, Historic Slatersville in North Smithfield, the historic Whitinsville district in Northbridge, Mass. ., and the historic Hopedale district in Hopedale, Massachusetts.

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